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The Students Ancient Histouy. 








^^.r'c. 3~). 


A KN0\vLED6K of the Histoiy of the East is indispensable 
to the student of Classical Literature. In the earliest 
records, he meets with doubtful traditions — and further 
study reveals undoubted signs — of older forms of civili- 
sation, which helped to detennine those of Greece and 
liome. Egypt and Phoenicia loom up, however vaguely, 
in what he learns of the origin of Greek society, arts, and 
letters. The earliest and noblest poetry of Greece and of 
the world, as well as the legend of Eome's original, bring 
him at once in contact with an Asiatic kingdom, of whose 
real existence, however, he is left in doubt. As his first read- 
ing of Greek poetry excites his curiosity about Troy, so his 
earliest lessons in Greek prose plunge him into the midst 
of the history of Persia, and into the heart of the region of 
the great eastern empires. His first guide to the history 
of Greece is an aut^br who — with a wise prescience of that 
method of study which we have only learnt of late — carries 
him at once to Assyria and Babylon, Egypt and Libya, 
Lydia and Persia, that, in the light of the knowledge of 
the East, he may see the true meaning of the victories 
which form the glory of the history of Greece. And, at 
every succeeding step, he finds himself m contact with 
Oriental forms of government and civilisation, and he 
learns that the victories of Alexander, Scipio, and Augustus 



were the decisive steps in Ihe great conflict between 
Eastern and Western principles of social life. 

Clearly, therefore, he has learnt but half the lesson of 
ancient history, so long as he sees the Oriental element 
only in that background which is all that can be allotted 
to it in the special histories of Greece and Eome. To 
present the other half is the object of the present Work, 
which is designed to be at once a necessary supplement 
to those histories, and a sketch of the Oriental states which 
deserve study for their own intrinsic interest. 

That interest has been immeasurably increased, within 
the period of one generation, by those wonderful discoveries 
in hieroglyphic and cuneiform literature which — at least 
in the principles of interpretation and in a large mass of 
positive results — have outlived the stage of incredulity, 
and become a recognised branch of ancient learning. 
That the results thus gained may be made more clear 
and interesting, the present W^ork contains some account 
of the processes of discovery. How much the interest of 
these discoveries is enhanced by the light they throw 
upon Scnpture history, will be apparent to every reader 
of the following pages. 

The diversities of interpretation — though based on 
the same essential principles, and leading to results for 
the most part wonderfully consistent-yhave given rise to 
what may be almost called two schools of cuneiform 
scholarship: the English, ^headed by Sir Henry C. Kaw- 
LINSON, and the French, headed by M, Jules Oppert. The 
authorities quoted in the foUo^ng pages will show the 
desire of the Writer to use the best results of the labours 
of both schools. The nature of these inquiries — so novel, 
and still in a state so progressive — has made it necessary 
to give authorities and explanatory notes more fully than 
in other volumes of this series. The advanced student, 

• • 


for whom this Work is designed, will thus be aided to 
distinguish certain from doubtful results, and will see the 
lines along which his further studies should be directed. 

The work is based on an independent study of the 
ancient writers and a careful use of the best modem 
authorities. Great advantage has, of course, been derived 
from the invaluable materials collected in the Notes and 
Essays to Professor Eawuisson's Translation of Herodotus, 
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Sir H. C. Kawlinson, and the 
Editor himself; and from Professor Rawunson's 'Five An- 
cient Monarchies.'^ For Egypt, besides the works of Sir 
Gardner Wilkinson, Professor Kenrick's * Ancient Egypt ' 
has been constantly consulted ; and so, also, has the same 
author's scholarly work upon PhcBnicia, The book on 
Assyria and Babylonia could not have been written without 
the works of Mr. La yard, and some invaluable results 
of the latest researches are due to the wi*i tings of M. 
Oppert. Special acknowledgment has to be rendered of the 
use made throughout the work of M. Charles Lenorm ant's 
* Histoire Ancienne de TOrient.** How little the present 
Writer has adhered slavishly to that work, the merits of 
which marked it as a good general guide, how often he 
has maintained other views, and how constantly he has 
expressed his own judgment on the events related, will be 
best seen by a comparison of the two books. Moreover, 
the present Work is brought down to Alexander's con- 
quest, the true epoch at which the East yielded to the 
West; whereas M. Lenormant stops, with a somewhat 
startling abmptness, at the beginning of the Persian wars 
with Greece. 

1 The Jlrst editions of both these works are quoted throughont, except in a few special 

s It may be well to explain that the whoto of tliis work was written, printed, and 
revised (excepting the two conclnding chapters on Phoenicia) before the appearance of 
the English translation of M. Lenonnant's history. 


As the History of the Jews hisus been treated at length 
in the * Student's Old Testament History,' the Writer has 
thereby acquired fuller space for the other branches of 
the subject For the object has not been to draw up a 
mere skeleton or epitome, but a narrative full and circum- 
stantial enough to possess life and interest, and to leave 
that impression on the memory which mere outlines can 
never produce ; since a summary can only be of real 
service as an index to knowledge already acquired. To 
this narrative only go much has been added in the way of 
discussion as the nature of the subject seemed actually to 
require. In fine, an earnest effort has been made to pro- 
duce a Manual, both for the student and the general 
reader, of the present state of our knowledge on a subject 
the interest of which is daily growing, its bounds en- 
larging, and its details becoming more definite and cci tain 
by the progress of enquiry. 

^ptlui Scolplurn 



Kola and ISwitrations : — 

(A). Table of the lodo-Europesn Family of Langnages 
(B). Table of the Semitic Familj of UngaagBS 





Note) and Hiuiirafioni : — 

Contemporaneousneis of Dynasties 4fi 

in. The Old Memphian MoNABCHY 41 

IV. The Middle Udsarchy and the Shepherd Kikos.. ., G1 
V. The New Thebah Mon^rchi.— The Ehihteenth Dtnabty 82 
VI. The New Thebak Monarchy (cmthnedy — The Nine- 
teenth AND Twentieth Dtka9TIE8 OS 

VII. New Kimodoms in the Delta and the ETHioptAN Dv- 

KASTY-DYN4SnEaXXI.-XXV.— B.Cll00(ABOUT)-664. 112 

VIIL The Later SaTte Monarchy— Twehty-biith Dynasty — 

B.C. 665-627 OR 525 1J!> 

IX. The iNffnTDTiONB, Relioios, and Abisof Eqtit .. .. I5G 





X. The Region of the Euphrates and Tigris, — Primitive 

Kingdoms , 191 

Notes and Illustrations : — 

(A). Early Babylonian Chronology 214 

(B). On the Chaldaeans and the Akkad 215 

XI. Early History of Assyria. The Mythical Legends: 

AND THE Earlier Kings of the Old Monarchy .. .. 218 

Notes and Illustrations : — 

On the Site and Extent of Nineveh 240 

XII. The Old Assyrian Empire. B.C. 886-746 243 

XIII. The New Assyrian Empire, Part L Tiglath-Pileser 

II., Shalmaneser, and Sargon. B.C. 745-704 . . . . 266 

XIV. The New Assyrian Empire (concluded). Sennacherib 

and his Successors. B.C. 704-625 281 

XV. The Babylonian or Chald^la.n Empire. B.C. 625-538 . . 303 

Notes and lUtMtraiions : — 

* Standard Inscription ' of Nebuchadnezzar 325 

XVI. The Art and Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria . . 327 

XVII. The Cuneiform Writing and Ltteeature, the Science 

AND Religion, of the Babylonians and Assyrians . . 348 




XVIII. The PRnimvB Aryans and the Religion of Zoroaster 373 

XIX. Rise of THE Median Kingdom 397 

XX. The Nations of Asia Minor — The Table-land and 

North Coast .. 414 

XXI. The Nations of Asia Minor— the South and West 

Coasts 429 

XXII. Early History of Lydia 452 


XXIir. LvpiA XSD Media.— Kfmim (Ivora to Tvaxarfj Asr. Alv- 


AND Scythian Is vABioNB OF Asia 4(il 

XXIV. The Median Empire ovekthrown Br CvRUB. B.C. .Sfl-1- 

658 478 

XXV. CvRDS TUB Great and CRffisui. — Overthrow of Lvdia 

AND Babilos.— B.C. 5G0-529 493 

XXVI. Cambybes.— The Maoian Usprpation. — RtxroRATioN ov 

THE MO.VAHCHV BY Darics, — B.C. 529-522 502 

XXVII. Clihai of the Persian Ehpire. — Darius, teie Son of 

HvsTABPEa.—B.C. 521-486 518 

XXVIII. The Decline and Fall of the Persian Eiipirb.— Xeries 

I. TO Darids hi., B.C. 486-330 529 


XXIX, Part I,— To the Time OF Tyre's SoPREMAcv .Ml 

XXX. Part II.— From the Aoe of David and Hirau to the 
Taking op Tyre dy Almander.— About B.C. 1050 to 
B.C.332 5C;i 

ll«d of 1 Penlui Kliig (l'crKpi>Ui>). 


An Egyptian Threshing Song. 
{From a Tomh at Eileithyias.) 

/y /www /NA^VWVA fl 

• I I I I I L V A 

i ■ • III*-*" ' 




I I I 

I I I iTL 

I I I 

TRANSLATION. (By Champolllon.) 

(1) " Thresh for yourselves (twicer a), 

(2) Oxen, 

(3) Thresh for yourselves (twice, b), 

(4) Measures for yourselves, 

(6) Measures for your masters."— (f^om Sir J. G. Wtlkitwm). 



Site of Nineveh Frontispiece 

Early Assyrian Chariot , .. .. Title Page 

Assyrian Cylinder Back of Title Page 


Plants from Egyptian Sculptures ix 

Head of a Persian King (Persepolis) xi 

Hieroglyphics — ^An Egyptian Threshing Song zii 

Assyrian Pattern (Nimmd) 1 

The Nile daring the Inundation 13 

Boat of the Nile 28 

Ruins and Vicinity of PhilflB 29 

Hieroglyph of Menes 38 

Sphinx and Pyramids 41 

QnaiTy-marks on stones in the Great Pyramid 43 

Plan of the Pyramids of Jizeh 44 

Hieroglyph of Shafre 45 

Hieroglyph of Memphis 52 

Bull-Fight 61 

Memnonium during the Inundation 82 

Pavilion of Rameses III 96 

An Egyptian Archer carrying spare arrows Ill 

Allies of the Egyptians .. 112 

Dress of an Egyptian King 139 

Funeral Boat, or Baris 156 

Hieroglyphic characters 186 

Tomb at Sakhara, arched with stone, inscribed with the name of 

Psamatikll 190 

The Mound of Birs-Nimmd 191 

Figures from the Signet Cylinder of King Urukh 217 

The Mesopotamian Plain 218 

Figure of Tiglath-pileser I. (From a rock tablet near Korkhar.) . . 239 

Ruins of Nineveh 242 

The Mound of Nimrud 243 

Plan of the Mound of Nimrud 246 

Plan of Palace of Asshur-nasir-pal 249 

Black Obelisk, from Nimrud 256 




Prisonew presented by the Chief Eunuch (Nimrud Obelisk) . . . . 257 

Nebo (from a statue in the British Museum) 262 

Excavations at Koyunjik 266 

Glass Vase, bearing the name of Sargon, from Nimrud 280 

King punishing prisoners (Ehorsabad) 280 

Assyrians flaying their Prisoners 281 

Hound held in Leash (Koyunjik) 302 

View of Babil from the West 303 

Ancient Assyrian Cylinder in Serpentine 327 

Babylonian Brick 329 

Chaldaean Reeds (from a slab of Sennacherib) 330 

Bowariyeh 331 

Temple of the Moon, Mugheir '. 335 

Seal-Cylinder on metal axis 338 

Serio-Comic Drawing. (From a Cylinder) 347 

Fallen Rock Sculptures at Bayian 348 

Cuneiform Characters 350 

Hieratic Character^ 351 

Emblems of Asshur (after Lajard) 370 

Royal Cylinder of Sennachajrib 370 

Emblems of the Principal Gods. (From an Obelisk in the British 

Museum) 372 

Persepolis - 373 

The Persian " Ferouher " .. 396 

The Rock of Behistun 397 

Sculptures on the Rock of Behistun 413 

Mons Argaeus in Cappadocia 414 

Rock-cut Lycian Tomb 429 

CoinofLycia 451 

Tomb of Midas, King of Phrygia, at Nacolicia 452 

CoinofSardis 460 

Ruins of Miletus 461 

Tomb of Alyattes, Sepulchral Chamber 477 

Tomb of Cyrus at ifur^Aa6, the ancient Pasargadae 478 

Ruins of Sardis 493 

Double Griflfin Capital (Persepolis) 601 

Bronze Figure of Apis 502 

Gateway to Hall of a Hundred Columns (Persepolis) 515 

Tomb of Darius at Naksh-i-Rustam 516 

Mound of Susa 529 

Grand Range of Lebanon 541 

Damascus 563 

Bronze Lion, from Nimrud 569 

Afl^yrlan Fatiern (Nlmnid). 





§ 1. The prorince and limits of Secular History. § 2. Distinguished from Sacred 
History. § 3. Antediluvian and Postdiluvian civiliBation. Primitive Arts 
and Institutions. § 4. Cradle of the Human Race. § 5. Geographical view 
of the Ancient World. Mountain-systems of Asia, Europe, and Africa. § 6. 
The Great Desert Zone and its interruptions. The Nile, Euphrates, and Red 

f Sea. The Oxus and Jaxartes. The outposts of ancient civilization. § 7. 

y The Races of mankind, and their first migrations. The record in Genesis x. 

Four principles of classification : — race, language, country, and nation. § 8. 
Physiological distinction of races. The Caucasian alone belongs to ancient 
history. § 9. Range of the ethnological table in Genesis. § 10. The Hamite 
Race, in Ethiopia and Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, and Babylonia. 
Cushite KingdtHn of Nimrod. Characteristics of the race. §11. The Japhe- 
thite race in Asia and Europe. § 12. The Shemite Race, in S.W. Asia. § 18. 
dasstfication according to Language. § 14. Threefold division of Languages, 
the itolaUng, agglutinativef and inflecting ; not perfect te.sts of race. The 
"Diranian family, almost beyond the range of ancient history. § 15. The two 
CEunilies of inflectional languages. § 16. The Indo-European Family. § 17. 
The Semitic Family. Sub-Semitic branch. The Egyptian language. § 18. 
Correspondence of the families of languages with the classification of races. 
§ 19. Distinction between the Eastern and Western Nations. Its physical 
and moral causes. § 20. Antagonism of the East and West. Importance of 
the history of the Eiut. 

§ L Seoular History treats of the human race as civilized, and 
as organized into political societies. It begins only when it can be 
based upon contemporary records. Mere indications of man's pre- 
sence on the earth at some uncertain period are insufiBcient autho- 
rities. For the most part, they relate to the natural history of the 
species, not to the civil history of the race ; and what further signi- 
ficance they may have belongs to historical hy^tothesis rather than 
to history. The flint implements and weapons found in certain 
strata of the earth's surface, and bearing the marks of human con- 
trivance, — the piles covered by Swiss lakes, which have supported 
human habitations, — the human bones carefully hidden in sepulchral 



barro^or rudel. scattered a^dst the renins of "extinct anin^ls.- 
are of fche deepest interest to the student of anthropological science. 
Diffused over the surface of the world, both old and new, they may 
bear witness to the almost universal existence at some primeval age, 
whether antediluvian or still earlier, of men whose civilization was 
of the lowest and their labour of the hardest ; but whose implements, 
however rude, prove that they rose above and had dominion over the 
brutes ; whose rough pictures shew some idea of art, while their care 
for sepulchral rites suggests their belief in a future state. But such 
inferences form no materials for history, unless these remains could 
be connected (like the monuments of Egypt) with races of which 
we have authentic records. 

§ 2. On the other hand, the authoritative accounts, derived only 
from revelation, of the creation of man and the preparation of the 
earth for his abode ; of his primeval innocence and his fall ; of the 
entrance of sin and the promise of redemption ; of his first probation 
and his destruction by the Flood ; of the new patriarchal line that 
sprang from Noah, and their renewed declension ; of the choice of 
Abraham and his race to preserve religious truth and hope amidst a 
new moral deluge ; and of the law given to them by Moses ; in short, 
the whole period till Israel, as a nation^ comes in contact with the 
other nations, is best treated separately as Sacred History.^ 

§ 3. With the antediluvian age, therefore, we have now no con- 
cern, except in so far as the relics of ite civilization, preserved by 
Noah, were revived in the new world. Marriage had been ordained 
from the creation ; but polygamy was practised by Lamech, the 
seventh from Adam in the line of Cain. Material civilization re- 
ceived its stimulus from the curse which first made needful labour 
painful. The pursuits of the first two sons of Adam gave an 
example of the different occupations of the husbandman and the 
'pastoral life. The Cainite race, in their spirit of proud independence, 
gathered themselves into civic communities, and invented the in- 
dustrial and some of the fine arts. Cain built the first city ; and of 
Lamech*s two pairs of children, Jabal and Jubal represent thfi nomad 
pastoral life and the invention of musical instruments ; while Tubal- 
cain was the first worker in brass and iron, and (tradition adds) his 
sister, Naamah, invented spinning and weaving. Here are all the 
essential germs of material civilization, to which was added by Noah 
(if not befoiie) the culture of the vine, and the art of wine-making. 
The use of animal food, perhaps already practised in the bloody 
banquets of the lawless antediluvians, was permitted to Noah, under 
the restriction of abstinence from blood ; and the new law against 
murder granted the power of life and death to the civil magistrate. 

1 This part of Ancient History will be found in the <Student*B Old Testa- 
ment History,* books i. ii. and iii. 


That authority belonged for the present to the patriarch, whose 
family embraced (so t&r as the only historic record gives us any 
infoimation) the whole surviying race of man. The narrative of 
the Deluge itself, and the wide-spread traditions which preserve 
its memory over the earth, are best referred to Sacred History.* 

§ 4. Neither the place nor the time of the second origin of our 
race can be determined with any certainty. 

The latter rests on calculations, for which we have neither a 
fixed starting point nor undisputed methods. We have no trust- 
worthy chronology till the time of the Babylonian empire.' 

As to the former, there is more agreement. Nearly all interpreters 
of Scripture place the cradle of the Postdiluvian race in the high- 
lands of Asia ; and, while some contend for the Alpine plateau of 
Little Bokhara (the BelowrtagK) as the Merou and Berezat or 
Albora of Indian and Persian tradition, the more general opinion 
adheres to the moimtains of Armenia. If the former is the more 
natural centre for the Aryan race, which took possession of Iran and 
Northern India, the latter (which prevalent tradition identifies with 
Ararat) seems the appropriate starting-place for the peoples of 
Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. 

§ 5. The regions just named form the whole scene of Ancient 
History ; for of India we only have an occasional glimpse, as it is 
touched by the conquerors of Western Asia. That portion of the 
tripartite continent of the Old World, which is the field of Ancient 
History, lies wholly within the northern temperate zone; for the 
tropic of Cancer passes just south of the Persian Gulf and the fron- 
tier of Egypt. It is divided by great mountain-chains and table- 
lands into three portions, both physically and historically distinct. 
The chief nucleus of its mountain system is in Armenia, whence 
ranges, prolonged to the west and east, sever the seats of ancient 
civilization firom the great plain of Northern Europe and Asia, 
which slopes away to the Arctic Ocean. 

The central Asiatic range, after sweeping round the southern 
margin of the Caspian Sea, pursues an easterly course to the 
Hindoo Koosh (the Indian Caucasus of the ancients), north of 
Aijghanistan and the Punjab, where another great knot is formed. 
One system running to the north-east under the names of Moussour 
and Altaic and another, the HimcUayas, to the east, enclose between 
them the great table-lands of Tibet and Mongolia, which the former 
chains divide from the great Siberian plain, and the latter from 
the two Indian Peninsulas; while a third range, prolonged from 
the Himalayas to the north-east, divides the plateaux of Tibet and 

' ' Stodent's Old Testament History/ chap. ir. 

* See the note on Scripture Chronology in the * Student's Old Testament 
History/ bhap. iii., note A. 

B 2 


Mongolia from the iDaritime plains of China and Manchouria. 
From the central knot in Armenia, another chain runs to the south- 
east, along the edge of the Tigris and Euphrates valley, the Peisian 
Gulf, and the northern shore of the Indian Ocean, to the Delta of the 
Indus, where it is linked to the Hindoo Koosh by the 8oUman 
Mountains^ running north and south along the western margin of the 
Indus valley. These three ranges enclose the tableland of Iran. 

The two chief Asiatic ranges are extended westward from Armenia 
in the chains of the Taurus and Anti-Taurus, which support between 
them the Peninsula of Asia Minor ; while the Taurus throws ofif a 
southern branch, the Amanus, along the eastern shore of the Medi- 
terranean, prolonged in the ranges of Lebanon, and culminating in 
the awful granite masses of the Peninsula of Sinai. The islands of 
the iEgean connect, as by stepping-stones, the mountains of Asia 
Minor with those of Greece; while the northern chain of Anti- 
Taurus (here called the Mysian Olympus) is only severed by the 
Bosporus from the Thracian system of Hsemus (the Balkan), 
Thence, prolonged to the north-west along the southern margin of 
the Danube valley, and thus linking itself to the Alps, and through 
them to the Pyrenees, this chief range of Europe serves as the 
northern barrier of the three fair peninsulas which are formed by its 
southern branches. Above this chain (in latitude, not in height) a 
second, like a vast arch with its ends resting also on the Pyrenees 
and the Black Sea, the Oevenn^^ the Jura, the Vosges, the moun- 
tains of South Germany, and the Carpathians, enclose the valleys 
of the Rhone and Daniibe, From this second range the great plain 
of Northern and Western Europe slopes away ; but along its north- 
west edge, though broken by the sea into severed links, a transverse 
chain runs through Scandinavia, the British Isles, Brittany, and the 
western side of the Spanish Peninsula, exhibiting in its geological 
formation some of the most ancient rocks of the earth's surface. 
Crossing the straits to Africa, the chain of Atlas forms the southern 
wall of the Western Mediterranean, and looks across to the moun- 
tains of Sicily from its eastern termination at Cape Bon. • A 
secondary and much lower chain runs off to the south-east, skirting 
the Syrtes and forming the Libyan shore, to the Delta of the Nile, 
except where the Cyrenaic Peninsula rises to a greater height. 

§ 6. South of the Atlas, the Syrtes, and the Libyan shore, the 
low land of the Great Libyan Desert (commonly, but scarcely 
accurately, called the Sahara), interposes its rainless waste of sand, 
broken only by an Oasis here and there, between the basin of the 
Mediterranean and the rest of Africa, excluding the latter regions 
from th6 sphere of ancient civiUzation. But this desert is only the 
western portion of a great belt, of the same physical character, which 
stretches in an east and north-easterly curve from the Atlantic coast 


of Africa to the moimtains of Manchouria ; rising into the desert table<« 
lands of Arabia and Syria, Iran and Turao, and Gobi in Eastern 
Tartary. The valley of the Nile, the chasm filled by the Red Sea, 
and the basin through which the Tigris and Euphrates flow to the 
Persfaoi Gulf, are breaks in this desert belt. 

The valley of the Nile was the most ancient seat «f a mighty 
kingdom, whose independent isolation was aided by its physical 
character, while its opening to the Mediterranean connected it with 
the European world. The valley of the Tigris and Euphrates was 
the ground on which various races disputed the mastery of Western 
Asia, from the age of Nimrod to the CaUphs ; while its possessors 
came in contact with the West by extending their conquests to 
Syria and Asia Minor. The waters of the Red Sea, running up 
almost to the Mediterranean, have formed in all ages the highway of 
commerce between the countries of Europe and the shores of the 
Indian Ocean. So early was this commerce and that by way of 
the Persian Gulf opened, that we find the kings of Egypt and 
Assyria, as well as Solomon, supplied with the products of India ; 
and, at a later period, the silk of China was used by the Asiatic 
Greeks and by imperial Rome. 

On the north, the furthest part of Central Asia known to the 
ancients was the tdbMand of Turan, which, sloping westward to 
the Sea of Aral, is traversed by the Oxus (Amou or JyMn\ and the 
Jaxartes (^Syr-deria), Their upper streams watered the fertile districts 
of Bactriana and Sogdiana, which formed the outposts of civilization, 
both under the Persians and the successors of Alexander ; and through 
their passes commercial routes were established with China. 

§ 7. Of the several races of mankind which peopled the ancient 
world ; their first movements from their primitive seats ; their suc- 
cessive displacements by conquest or voluntary migration ; and the 
positions they occupied at each period ;— our information depends 
chiefly upon the science of ethnology, and still more on the compa- 
rison of languages, aided by tradition. But of the first steps in these 
movements we have one trustworthy record, clear in many points, 
though difficult in some, which is more and more confirmed by every 
conclusion to which science comes. 

The Book of Genesis afiSrms the unity of the human race, while 
it distinguishes the three families which sprang from the three sons 
of Noah; and describes their first diffusion from their primeval 
centre.* That ancient record distinguishes the foitr principles of 
classification, which, to this day, are constantly confounded. The 
component members of the three races are described " after their 
families, after their tongues, in their lands, and in their nations f* 
and all sound research must still have regard to race, and language, 

* Genesis X. 


geographical position, and political natiorudity ;^ though each of 
these elements is more or less mixed up with the others. Nor must 
we forget the complex nature of the enquiry. We have to seek, not 
for any single movement from a common centre, nor even for succes- 
sive impulses at intervals of time; but we must allow for the 
frequent flux and reflux of the tides of population. 

§ 8. The most obvious test of race is physiological formation, as 
seen in the stature and proportions of the body, the complexion of 
the skin, the colour and set of the hair, and, above all, the size and 
shape of the skull. Four races are thus distinguished, the White^ 
or Caibcasian;^ the Yellow , or Mongolian; the Black, Negro, or 
Nigritian ; and the Bed, or American, The first was the sole pos- 
sessor of ancient civilization ; the second appears only occasionally 
on the scene of ancient history, when its nomad hordes come down 
from their homes in the plateaux of Central Asia, over which they 
have always wandered ; the third is only represented by the slaves 
depicted on Egyptian monumients ; the fourth does not yet appear 
at all. The three last are excluded from the families enumerated 
in Genesis x. ; not as negativing their descent from Noah, but because 
they lay beyond the geographical range embraced by the writer. 

§ 9. That range is limited to the primary settlements of the 
Caucasian race. It seems to lie entirely within the 20th and 60th 
meridians of east longitude, and the 10th and 50th parallels of north 
latitude ; extending from the peninsula of Greece to the table-land 
of Iran, and from the northern shores of the Black Sea to the mouth 
of the Red Sea. Without discussing the several names in detail, we 
may be tolerably sure of these general results. 

§ 10. I. The Hamite Bace, which seems first to have left the com- 
mon home, is located in Africa and South Arabia, in four branches :— 
1. The Cushites, in Ethiopia and the South part of Arabia, separated 
only by the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. 2. The Egyptians, imder 
their historic name of Mizraim ; with the kindred Philistines' on 
the one side, and (probably) North African tribes on the other. 3. 
The Libyans (probably) designated by the name of Phut, 4. The 
Carujumites, whose tribes are particularly enumerated. The mention 
of Sidon among these indicates that the first settlers in Phoenicia 
were Hamite ; though the Phoenicians of history were undoubtedly 
Semitic. The like displacement clearly happened in Arabia, where 
the same names (HavUah and Sheba) occur among the sons of Cush, 
and again among those of the Shemite Joktan, 

^ The tendency of onr own age to confound the first and last of these elements 
leads to remarkable complications. 

' This name does not prejudge the question of the primitive abode of the 
race; but it is given because the most perfect physical types are regularly 
found among the natives of the Caucasian isthmus. 


Besides these nations, the record mentions a personal name among 
the sons of Gush, Nimrod, the founder of a kingdom, with four 
cities, in the plain of Babylonia;^ and there are later traces of 
Goshites in the East. They seem, in fact, to have spread over India 
and the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. 

In all the countries of their abode, the Hamite race seem to have 
been the pioneers of material civilization, and the founders of states 
based on mere force. Their enduring monuments are gigantic 
buildings, the sculptures upon which attest the grossness of their 
worship of nature. Everywhere except in Egypt (and there also at 
last) they gave way before the races of Shem and Japheth, fulfilling 
Noah's prophetic curse, that Ham should be the servant of his 
brethren. Material grandeur yielded to spiritual power and the 
active energy of political life. 

§ 11. 11. The Japhethite Race extends from the Caucasian region 
to the south-east over the table-land of Iran ; to the west over the 
peninsula of Asia Minor and the neighbouring islands, as far as 
Greece, (the " Isles of the Gentiles ") ; and to the north-west all round 
the shores of the Black Sea. That the tribes enumerated in the record 
wore the parents of those which overspread all Europe on the one 
band, and became masters of Northern India on the other, admits of 
no reasonable doubt. 

§ 12. III. Between the other two, the Shemite Race remained 
nearer its primeval seats, as the destined guardian of the primeval 
religion and traditions. Its nucleus in Armenia (probably repre- 
sented by the name Arphaxad) forms the apex of a triangle, resting 
on the Arabian peninsula ; along the east side of which we have the 
Assyrians (^Asshur) and Elymaeans (^Elam\ the latter of whom gave 
way to the Japhethite Persians; and on its west side the Aramaean 
race {Aram^ denoting highland) of Northern Mesopotamia and Syria, 
whose Hebrew descendants (^Eher) afterwards possessed the land of 
Ganaan. The middle space of the Syrian Desert and the whole 
peninsula of Arabia is the seat of the Arab tribes denoted by Johtan, 
the son of Eber, with whom were afterwards mingled other Semitic 
descendants of Abraham. 

§ 13. These general results are in striking agreement with the 
conclusions derived from the science of Comparative Language, which 
is now universally regarded as the best test of national affinity. As 
thought is the most characteristic function of man, so language, the 
organ of thought, is his most characteristic and permanent possession 
— permanent in its modifications as well as in its substance. Some 
caution is, indeed, necessary in applying the principle. That lan- 
guage is not always, and of itself alone, a sufiicient test of race, we 
see in the English-speaking Celts of our own islands, whose native 

' See below, Book II. Chap. X. 


dialects are only partially retained, and still more in the nations of 
South-western Europe, absurdly called " the Latin races " because 
of the language which they adopted from their Roman conquerors. 
Such acquired languages may generally, but not always, be distin- 
guished by direct sources of historical information. 

§ 14. Languages are divided, according to their form, into the 
three classes of isolating, agglutinative, and inflecting. Those of the 
first class consist of monosyllabic roots, entirely destitute of com- 
position and grammatical inflection. In the second, grammatical 
changes are denoted by the mere juxta-position of different roots. 
In the third, the prefixes and terminations which modify the meaning 
and relations of the principal root are welded with it into one word, 
having lost their radical character. But we cannot regard these 
different forms of speech as tests of different races : they seem rather 
to be stages through which all languages have passed. They run 
into each other by imperceptible gi*adations; from which we may 
safely conclude that every inflecting language must once have been 
agglutinative, and every agglutinative language once isolating. The 
great type of an isolating language is the Chinese. The aggluti- 
native dialects are spoken chiefly by the nomad tribes of Asia and 
Northern Europe, and by some of those of Southern India, the Malay 
peniosula, and the Indian and Pacific archipelagos. Modern ethno- 
logists regard them as characteristic of what they call the Turanian 
family. As this family lies almost entirely without the range of 
ancient history, we are under no necessity to discuss the questions 
involved in this attempted classification. 

§ 15. The inflectional languages are divided into two families, dis- 
tinguished with great clearness, and comprehending those of all the 
nations with whose history we are now concerned. With sufficient 
resemblance in some of their most important roots to justify belief 
in their ultimate common origin, these two families exhibit the most 
striking diversities from one another and resemblances among their 
respective members. These diversities and resemblances are seen, 
not only in the roots, but chiefly in the grammatical inflections-r- 
elements necessarily developed by processes of change which make 
accidental coincidences on a large scale impossible. The two families 
are known by the names of Indo-European and Semitic, 

§ 16. I. The Indo-European or Indo- Germanic languages are so 
named from the two extremities of the chain in which they stretch 
from south-east to north-west across Asia and Europe. They are 
sometimes also called .Arya/n, from the races which peopled Eastern 
Persia and Northern India. The sacred language of India, the 
Sanskrit, stands first in the series. The latter is also, organically, 
the most complete in its forms ; but it is too much to affirm that 
it is always the nearest to the common parent tongue, to which 


all the languages of the family point back. Next come the ancient 
and modem languages of Persia and the other countries on the. 
table-land of Iran: then those of Armenia and the Caucasian 
isthmus ; whence the femily spreads out over all Europe, to the 
shores of the North Sea and the Atlantic' 

§ 17. II. The Semitic Langtunges are so called, not as implying 
nec^sarily the common descent of the nations speaking them from 
Shem — for the linguistic classification is independent of, though 
co-ordinate with, the classification by race — but because the most 
conspicuous members of the family are those whose Shemite descent 
is affirmed in Scripture : the Hebrews and Arabs, Syrians and 
Assyrians. These nations occupied, and for the most part still 
occupy, the south-west comer of Asia, to the left of the Indo- 
Germanic zone; pent in between the highlands of Annenia and 
Iran on the east, the Mediterranean and Bed Sea on the west, and 
the Gulf of Arabia on the south. 

But some .languages are included in the family, which have by 
no means the same marked affinity with the rest as that which 
unites the Indo-European tongues. Some authorities, guided by 
theories respecting the early relations of the Shemite and Hamite 
races, consider the Semitic family as originally Hamitic. But, as 
yet, comparative philology has not succeeded in establishing a 
distinct family of languages corresponding to the Hamitic race; 
and the languages of the latter are meanwhile classed^ as Sub- 
Semitic, Hence we have the division into (1) Semitic Proper^ 
including Aramaean, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic ; and (2) the 
Suh-Semitic, including the Egyptian or Coptic, and, perhaps, the 
languages of the ancient Libyans, still preserved by the Kabyles 
and Touargs of North Africa, and by some tribes of the Upper 
Nile.' The affinities of the Egyptian language, however, are still an 
open question. It has elements in common with the Indo-European 
as well as the Semitic families, which may perhaps aid in guiding 
us a step nearer to the common original of human speech. 

§ 18. The classification of nations by their languages has the 
great advantage of enabling us to construct an ethnological picture 
for any period at which the languages are known, and to follow the 
migrations of the peoples speaking the several tongues. Thus, for 
example, the common evidence of a I/ow German tongue enables 
us to trace back our own ancestors to their homes on the other 
side of the German Ocean. Language is a living fact, while the 
recorded or traditional history of the movements of races are in 
many points most doubtful. • 

* See Notes and lUnfitratioiis — (A.) * Table of the Indo-European Languages.' 
> See Notes and lUustrations— (B.) * Table of Semitic Languages.' 

B 3 


dialects are only partially retained, and still more in the nations of 
South-western Europe, absurdly called " the Latin races *' because 
of the language which they adopted from their Roman conquerors. 
Such acquired languages may generally, but not always, be distin- 
guished by direct sources of historical information. 

§ 14. Languages are divided, according to their form, into the 
three classes of isolating, agglutinative, and inflecting. Those of the 
first class consist of monosyllabic roots, entirely destitute of com- 
position and grammatical inflection. In the second, grammatical 
changes are denoted by the mere juxta-position of different roots. 
In the third, the prefixes and terminations which modify the meaning 
and relations of the principal root are welded with it into one word, 
having lost their radical character. But we cannot regard these 
different forms of speech as tests of different races : they seem rather 
to be stages through which all languages have passed. They run 
into each other by imperceptible gradations; from which we may 
safely conclude that every inflecting language must once have been 
agglutinative, and every agglutinative language once isolating. The 
great type of an isolating language is the Chinese. The aggluti- 
native dialects are spoken chiefly by the nomad tribes of Asia and 
Northern Europe, and by some of those of Southern India, the Malay 
peniosula, and the Indian and Pacific archipelagos. Modem ethno- 
logists regard them as characteristic of what they call the Turanian 
family. As this family lies almost entirely without the range of 
ancient history, we are under no necessity to discuss the questions 
involved in this attempted classification. 

§ 15. The inflectional languages are divided into two families, dis- 
tinguished with great clearness, and comprehending those of all the 
nations with whose history we are now concerned. With sufficient 
resemblance in some of their most important roots to justify belief 
in their ultimate common origin, these two families exhibit the most 
striking diversities from one another and resemblances among their 
respective members. These diversities and resemblances are seen, 
not only in the roots, but chiefly in the grammatical inflections-r- 
elements necessarily developed by processes of change which make 
accidental coincidences on a large scale impossible. The two families 
are known by the names of Indo-European and Semitic, 

§ 16. I. The Indo-European or Indo-Oermanic languages are so 
named from the two extremities of the chain in which they stretch 
from south-east to north-west across Asia and Europe. They are 
sometimes also called .Arya/a, from the races which peopled Eastern 
Persia and Northern India. The sacred language of India, the 
Sanskrit, stands first in the series. The latter is also, organically, 
the most complete in its forms ; but it is too much to affirm that 
it is always the nearest to the common parent tongue, to which 


all the languages of the family point back. Next come the ancient 
and modem languages of Persia and the other countries on the. 
table-land of Iran: then those of Armenia and the Caucasian 
isthmus ; whence the &mily spreads out over all Europe, to the 
shores of the North Sea and the Atlantic' 

§ 17. II. The Semitic Languages are so called, not as implying 
necessarily the common descent of the nations speaking them from 
Shem — for the linguistic classification is independent of, though 
co-ordinate with, the classification by race — but because the most 
conspicuous members of the family are those whose Shemite descent 
is affirmed in Scripture : the Hebrews and Arabs, Syrians and 
Assyrians. These nations occupied, and for the most part still 
occupy, the south-west comer of Asia, to the left of the Indo- 
Germanic zone; pent in between the highlands of Annenia and 
Iran on the east, the Mediterranean and Bed Sea on the west, and 
the Gulf of Arabia on the south. 

But some .languages are included in the family, which have by 
no means the same marked affinity with the rest as that which 
unites the Indo-European tongues. Some authorities, guided by 
theories respecting the early relations of the Shemite and Hamite 
races, consider the Semitic family as originally Hamitic. But, as 
yet, comparative philology has not succeeded in establishing a 
distinct family of languages corresponding to the Hamitic race; 
and the languages of the latter are meanwhile classed^ as Sub- 
Semitic, Hence we have the division into (1) Semitic Proper ^ 
including Aramaean, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic ; and (2) the 
Sub-SemitiCj including the Egyptian or Coptic, and, perhaps, the 
languages of the ancient Libyans, still preserved by the Kabyles 
and Touargs of North Africa, and by some tribes of the Upper 
Nile.' The affinities of the Egyptian language, however, are still an 
open question. It has elements in common with the Indo-European 
as well as the Semitic families, which may perhaps aid in guiding 
us a step nearer to the common original of human speech. 

§ 18. The classification of nations by their languages has the 
great advantage of enabling us to construct an ethnological picture 
for any period at which the languages are known, and to follow the 
migrations of the peoples speaking the several tongues. Thus, for 
example, the common evidence of a Low German tongue enables 
"US to trace back our own ancestors to their homes on the other 
side of the German Ocean. Language is a living fact, while the 
recorded or traditional history of the movements of races are in 
many points most doubtful. • 

* See Notes and lUaittrations — (A.) * Table of the Indo-European Langm^s.' 
» See Notes and lUustrations— (B.) * Table of Semitic Languages.' 

B 3 


Still, what hajs now been said will shew the striking general 
agreement of the record in Genesis with the results of comparative 
philology. The Indo-European family corresponds to the Japhe- 
thite races, not only as far as the range included in the biblical 
record, but the extensions of the former are what might be expected 
from the latter. The range of the Semitic family proper is precisely 
that assigned to the Shemite races, with the addition of Ethiopia, 
where, as in neighbouring parts of Arabia, they displaced the 
Cushites ; while the more complicated relations of the sub-Semitic 
languages are what we might have expected from the movements of 
the Hamites and Shemites. The .whole result is to divide the 
nations of the ancient world into two great groups, of which the 
one expanded, and made more free and powerful, the civilization 
begun by the other. The very names of Shem (^exaltation) and 
Japheth (enlargement) are symbolical of those destinies of the races 
which were foretold in Noah's prophecy : — " God shall enlarge 
Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tabernacles (inherit the power 
and high privileges) of Shem." 

§ 19. The course of history establishes another broad division of 
the ancient nations into the Eastei^n and the Western, The latter 
represents the free energy of the Indo-European races ; the former, 
not uninfluenced by the same element, as contributed by the Aryan 
stock, absorbed it into its own mass of immobility and despotism. 
Thus the Median and Persian conquerors of the Babylonian Empire, 
and long afterwards the Greek rulers of Egypt and Syria, conformed 
to the Oriental type. The causes of this were both physical and 
moral. In those early ages, when men saw that 

*' The world was all before them, where to choose,*' 

the virgin basins of great rivers like the Euphrates and the Kile, teem- 
ing beneath a sub-tropical sun, became the first seats of civilization. 
An agricultural population, wedded to the soil, easily submitted to 
the royal claims which were the exaggeration of patriarchal power, 
and consoled themselves by admiring the pomp and luxury of 
their kings. The principle of obedience to authority, which pre- 
served the true religion among the chosen people of God, was else- 
where debased into a religious reverence for despots. The same 
causes, which at first stimulated civilization, gave it a fixed and 
immobile character. The vast river basins, with only a narrow open- 
ing to the sea, were excluded from the vivifying influences which 
were ever moving on the indented shores of the Mediterranean, and 
on the varied surface of its great peninsulas ; and the climate of the 
East admitted not the free life of European energy. 

§ 20. From these causes, quite as much as from difference of race, 
springs that great distinction which marks the two different streams, 




aad the two antagonistic principles, of ancient history : the eastern 
and the western ; the civilization of the Nile and the Euphrates 
with the fixed principles of their great monarchies^and the higher 
civilization and nobler political, literary, and artistic life which 
grew np on the shores of the Mediterranean, and was destined to 
cover the whole world. Onr early study of, and sympathy 
with the latter, is, however, left imperfect, unless we are familiar 
with what the former did to prepare its way, so as to imderstand the 
full significance of the ultimate triumph of the West. 

The permanent character of Asiatic civilization enables ns still to 
study its principles in their ancient abodes; and though the old 
Asiatic empires have long since vanished before the energy of con- 
quering races, dissolving as easily as they were formed, leaving but 
firagmentary notices in ancient literature, the time has come when 
the newly deciphered records of Egypt and Assyria supply materials 
for the authentic ancient history of the East. 


(A). Table of the Indo-Eubopkan Family of Languages.'® 

Indio .. 

Ibanic .. 

Cbltio .. 

Italic .. 





Dead Languages. 

Prakrit and Pali, Modem) 
and Yedic Sanskrit J 

Parsi, Pehlevi, Zend . . 

Old Armenian 





Langne d'oo 
Langue d'oil 

Living Language 
Dialects of : — 
The gipsies. 







. . . . 

Isle of Man. 






** From Professor Max MOUer's * Lectures on the Science of Language,* p. 380. 


Table of thb Indo-Eueopban Family op Languages — continued. 


Illybig .. 




Dead Languages, 


Dialects of Greek 
Old Prussian 

• • * * 1 



Slaronio . . 

Slavonio . 

Ecclesiastical Slavonic 

Old Bohemian 

Ti;«v. n«,r«o«/ Old High German, and \ 
High Germany ^^^^ ^.^^ ^^^^ | 

Low German 


Gothic . . 
Old Dutch 
Old Friesian 
Old Saxon . 

Living Languages, 

Dialects of: — 
The Grisons. 




Friesland, and 









Old Norse 


North Germany. 
(Piatt Deutsch) 

(B). Table op the Semitic Family op Languages. 









Dead Languages, 


Himyaritic Inscriptions 

Biblical Hebrew 

Samaritan Pentateuch, 3rd century a.p. . 
Carthaginian, Phoenician Inscriptions 

Chaldee, Masora, Talmud, Targum, Bib-> 
lical Chaldee 

Syriac, Peshito, 2nd century, a.d. 

Cuneiform Inscriptions of Babylon andj 

Living Languages. 

Dialects of Arabic. 

• • • • 

Dialects of the Jewe 

• • • • 





§ 1. Th* BnpU>n> "» U» Ant el 
n11<7 at Ui« Nll«. Ita boundu-Lcii. 
•md WUW Rlrern. 8<m««« of thn Nile, g «, Courw of tbt Nil* : (1.) to lU 
JusctioB with Uu Tunin. Tba l«lind of Meraf. g 1. (lt.| ThnniRb Nnbli 
to Sy^D*. Th* CiUiHU. liUndi or Fhllw uii UlcpbinUDC LrgMid ■«- 
llWd bj Herodotnt. Proiimllj to Iba tropio. S «. (ill.) To tbe opri of Ih* 
neltiu The JV"- Tba PfrKmldh § T. (iT.) The nrlU, riiUncUon of 
Lome ud Uppar EitTPt- Moutbi oT thi KUr In udant uid modarn tlmaa. 
I^H and CanBia. Eitant of Iha Delta. lU formaUon. § ». Anniul Inun. 

Fertillly of EiTTP'- S >• Cauwa of the early proaporltr of K|npt. (I.) Ita 
Inaooaaalbllltj' to fDirirn iDvailnn. § ID. (II.) Ita abundant aupplf of f«d. 
§ 11. (lU.) Maanaof ooRiinonieatlanaBardoilhTlhoNile. § 11, The Nile a 

OeomeUT, En(rinaerln(t. g 18, IiiHuonoe of (ha Nile upon the Idea, and 
reUKlDD of tbe Ecyptiana. The Kite and tbe Driert : Llfo and IMath ; Oalrla 
and Truhon. Durlal of tbe Dead. Belief In ■ future iiUte. § 14, The 
inaliifr^dHl formation of Kjtvpt aujiplled abundant maurLala fbr tbe vorkman. 
Limeatone, ffnnlte. marhle. porphyry, baaalt. fte. Iron and atber mlnea la 
tUnal irorked by the early Kin^:!, S 1J. OrlFin of Iha KRyntlana, Hypo, 
theaea of their Ethiopian and Indian origin untenable. § IB. I'hyalolofflcal 
eTidence. The EimiUaa mummlei and porlnitaabev an Aaiatlotype. g IT. 
Th' Efryptian language la Inurmedlate between the Aalatio and Afrieaii 
dlaleeta. § IB. Namea of Egypt : natlra : Hebrew ud Arable : and Greek. 

§ 1. In the eaiUogt dawD of liiBtory tlio f^ptinns nppoftr u n 


highly civilized and powerful people. Many centuries before any 
empire had been established on the banks of the Euphrates and the 
Tigris, and while the Hebrew patriarchs were wandering with their 
flocks and herds on the plains of Mesopotamia,^ the valley of the 
Nile was governed by a great and mighty sovereign, whose country 
was the granary of the surrounding nations,^ and whose people culti- 
vated the arts which refine and embellish life. But even then the 
pyramids were old, and the tombs at their base reveal a high degree 
of civilization. The inquisitive Greeks, who visited Egypt in the 
fourth and fifth centuries before the Christian era, gazed with wonder 
upon the stupendous monuments which we still behold, and were 
powerfully impressed with the immemorial antiquity of the people.' 
In short, there can be no doubt, from the concurrent testimony of 
Hebrew and Greek literature, and from the evidence afforded by the 
monuments of the country, that the Egyptians formed a great and 
civilized community long anterior to any other people, and consequently 
that they deserve the earliest place in the history of the ancient world. 

§ 2. The history of all nations has been influenced by their rivers J 
and the course of civilization has usually followed, whether upwards 
or downwards, the course of the streams. But the influence exercised 
by the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Ganges, upon the inhabitants 
of their plains, has been small compared with the influence of the 
Nile upon the people of its valley. To the Nile the Egyptians owed, 
not only their civilization and their peculiar institutions, but the very 
existence of their country. Egypt has been emphatically called " the 
gift of the Nile,"* without whose fertilizing waters it would have 
been only a rocky desert. It is a long narrow valley, shut in by two 
ranges of mountains, through which flows the deep and mighty river, 
leaving on either side a slip of fertile land created by the deposits of its 
inundation. The average breadth of this valley is about seven miles ; 
but the mountain-ranges sometimes approach so near as almost to 
touch the river, and in no place are they more than eleven miles apart. 

The boundaries of Egypt are marked by nature, and have been in 
all ages the same. On the east and west the Arabian and Libyan 
hills accompany the Nile, till the valley expands into the broad 
plain of the Delta upon the Mediterranean Sea, where the Arabian 
Desert separates it from Palestine upon the east, and the Libyan 
Desert forms its western boundary. On the south, Egypt was divided 
from Ethiopia by the rapids (or " first cataract ") between the islands 
of Elephantine and Philae. An ancient oracle of Ammon defined the 

* The history of the wars of the petty princes of Mesopotamia, recorded in 
Genesis xiv., proves that no powerful kingdom existed in that country in the 
time of Abraham. ^ Genesis xiii. 10, xlii. 1. 

' See especially the striking words of Plato, * De Leg.* ii. 3, p. 656. 

^ Herod, ii. 5. 


Egyptians to be the people who dwelt below the cataracts, and drank 
of the waters of the Nile.^ Under the Romans these rapids were the 
southern boundary, not only of Egypt, but of their own empire ;• 
and at the present day they separate the Eg3rptians and the Arabic 
language, to the north, from the Nubians and the Berber language to 
the south.^ But the Egyptian monarchy, in its palmy days, extended 
fJEtr beyond the First Cataract The course of civilization and empire 
has always followed the course of the Nile, either upwards or down- 
wards ; and this mysterious river is so closely interwoven with the 
history and institutions of the Egjrptians, that a brief description of 
its course and its physical phenomena is an essential preliminary to 
the history of the country. 

§ 3. The Nile* is formed by the junction of two rivers, which meet 
in the latitude of 15° 37' north and longitude 33° east of Greenwich, 
near the modem village of Khartum, where it is above two miles 
broad. From the colour of their waters these streams have received 
the names of the White and the Blue rivers. The White River 
flows from the south-west, and brings down the larger volume of 
water; the Blue River comes from the south-east, and is much 
the more rapid. The latter, and the Bl<ick Biver, Atharah or 
TacazzS (the ancient Astaboras), which joins the Nile from the 
east, both flow down from the highlands of Abyssinia with a mode- 
rate volume, except at the season of the summer rains, when their 
swollen and turbid waters wash down the earthy matters from which 
they derive their colour and their names. The clear perennial stream 
of the White Biver has always been recognised as the true Nile ; and 
its sources have been from the remotest times a mystery, and have 
given rise to various conjectures.^ Herodotus supposed that the river, 
which the Nasamones, after crossing the Great Desert, found flowing 
eastward, was really the Nile.^° Under the Roman empire, it was 
believed by many that the Nile rose in Mauretania, and, after flowing 
through the centre of Africa as the Niger, at last entered Ethiopia as 
the Nile.^ Ptolemy, with that wonderful amount of information 

» Herod, ii. 18. • Tac. *Ann.» ii. 61. 

' Parthey, • De Philis Insula,' BerUn, 1830. 

* The name of the I^ile (NeiAoc, Nilus) comes to us from the Greeks, who 
probably derived it from the Phoenicians. By Homer the river is called ^gypttu 
{Od. iii. 300, iv. 477) ; but in Hesiod {Theog, 338) the name of Nile appears, 
and this designation is uniformly used by succeeding Greek writers. In hieroglyphic 
inscriptions the Nile is termed Hapimu, or ** the abyss of waters," and in C!optic 
FerOf or " The Eiver." The Hebrews entitled it Nahal'Miaraim or ** River of 
Egypt" {Genesis xv. 18), and sometimes Sihor or "The Black" (Isaiah xxiii. 8 ; 
Jerem. ii. 18). 

» The sources of the Blue River were discovered by the traveller Bruce (a.d. 
1770) ; but they had been visited before by the Jesuit missionary Paez. 

^ Herod. U. 88. 

" This was stated by Juba, who lived in the reign of Augustus, on the authority 
of Carthaginian writers (Plin. v. 9, § 10). It is repeated by Dion Cassius (Ixxv. 1 3). 


which he derived from adventurous traders, for later ages to lose and 
re-discover, marks the Nile as rising from some lakes or swamps, the 
" Faludes Nili," south of the Equator, which are in their turn fed 
by streams flowing from a range which he calls the " Mountains of 
the Moon." His view had been discredited for centuries, when the 
discoveries of Speke and Grant (in 1862), and Baker (in 1864), 
proved that the Nile issues, in lat. 2° 45' north and long. 31° 25' east 
from the reservoir of the lake Albert Nyanza^ which receives, near 
the outlet of the river, a secondary stream from the lake Victoria 
Nyanza ; these two lakes covering a vast space under and on both 
sides of the Equator.^ Still, in strict geographical science, the prob- 
lem is not finally solved, till the sources which feed these lakes, and 
especially the Albert Nyanza, shall have been discovered. 
. § 4. From the Albert Nyanza the Nile flows to the north and- 
north-east, increased by numerous tributaries, for about 1000 miles, 
to its junction with the Blue Kiver at Khartiim, and thence 170 
miles further, till, in latitude 17° 40' north and longitude 34° east, it 
receives the Black River, its last confluent. The vast plain enclosed 
between these two chief tributaries was called the island of Meroe," 
and was the seat of the great sacerdotal kingdom of Ethiopia, con- 
nected by kindred and customs with Egypt, over which it once 
ruled for a time. In this part of its course the river flows by 
ruined temples and pyramids, which clearly indicate the con- 

§ 5. From the Astaboras to Syene, a distance of about 700 miles 
through Nubia, the navigation of the Nile is interrupted by various 
rapids, or, as the Greeks called them, cataracts. They are seven in 
number, and are formed by shelves of granite lying across the bed 
of the river. For a long distance the Nile traverses almost a desert 
till a little below the fourth cataract,** where pyramids and temples, 
and other traces of ancient civilization again appear. Between the 
second, or Great Cataract, and the First Cataract at Syene, the 
remains of ancient art are still more numerous ; but the two ranges 
of hills almost shut in the river, and leave little space for culti- 

Immediately above the First Cataract lies the sacred island of 
Philae, the burial-place of the god Osiris, still covered with numerous 

12 The Victoria Nyanza lies between lat. 0© 15' N. and 2° 30' S. : the Albert 
Nyanza is reported by the natives to be kno-wn as far as 2° S., and thence to 
trend away W. to an unknown distance. It is in this quarter that some consider- 
able affluent may perhaps be looked for. 

1^ The ancient geographers frequently applied the name of island to|a space 
included between two or more confluent rivers. The modern name of Sennaar, 
denoting the country between the White and Blue Bivers, is probably identical 
with that otShinoTt in Mesopotamia, both being Semitic terms signifying I\oo Rivers. 

'^ The cataracts are numbered in the order of the ascent of the river. 


temi^es and colonnades. The falls extend from Phibe to Syene^ 
and the island of Elephantine, a distance of five miles. Throoghoat 
this spdioe the riyer is l»oken by fantastic masses of black porphyry 
md granite, which rise to the height of forty feet, and between 
idiich the waters force their way in violent eddies and currents. 
According to a tale which Herodotus heard from the treasurer at 
Sais, in Lower Egypt, the Nile rose at this point between two 
peaked mountains, called Crophi and Mophi^ from which it ran 
down northwards into Egypt, and southwards into Ethiopia.^ It 
is not difficult to imagine that an inhabitant of Lower Egypt, who 
had been accustomed to the calm unbroken flow of his majestic 
river, would be astonished at the strange convulsion of the water, 
and would endeavour to account for it by supposing that the river 
here burst forth from unfathomable caverns. Marvellous tales 
reached tiie West of the deafening sound with which the' water 
descended from lofty precipices ;^'^ whereas, in reality, the entire 
descent is only eighty feet in a space of five miles. 

The statement of the ancient geographers, that the sun passed 
vertically over Syene at the summer solstice — his image being 
reflected perpendicularly in a well, and an upright stick casting no 
shadow, at noon — though not precisely accurate, may serve to 
remind us that the southern limit of Egypt is only just outside of 
the tropic of Cancer. The true latitude of Syene is 24"^ 5' 23^', and 
the least shadow of a vertical stick is only ^^th of its length. 

§ 6. From its entrance into Egypt at Syene, the Nile flows in one 
imbroken stream for upwards of 600 miles, as far as the apex of the 
Delta. The two chains of mountains, which enclose its valley, 
press unequally upon its banks. The western range recedes further 
from the river, and hence most of the Egyptian cities were on its 
western side. The breadth of the valley varies from ten miles at the 
most to as little as two miles in some parts of Upper Egypt : the 
river itself is from 2000 to 4000 feet wide. For about fifty miles north 
of Syene, the valley is contracted and sterile, since the inundation is 
checked by the rocks which approach the banks on either side ; but at 
Apollinopolis the Great (^Edfou, in 25° north lat.) the valley begins to 
expand, and becomes still wider at LatopoUs {Etneh), Below this, it 
again contracts so closely, as barely to leave space for the passage of 
the river ; but almost immediately afterwards it opens out into a 
still wider plain, in which stood the royal city of Thebes. Here the 
western hills attain their greatest elevation, rising precipitously 
from the plain to the height of 1200 feet above the level of the 
river. The plain of Thebes is shut in on the north by another 

^ The frontier citjr of Syene {Aa$oua%) stood on the right hank of the lirer just 
opposite to Elephantine. ^ Herod. IL 28. 

'^ Oeero^ * Sonrn. 8dp.' 5 ; Seneea, *Nat. Qosst.* ir. 2. 


approacli of the hills ; but they soon recede again, and henceforth 
the Nile flows through a valley of considerable width. Near 
Diospolis Farva, on the left bank, begins the canal, called the 
Bahr^Yussuf (QdJizX of Joseph'®), which is, however, more probably 
an ancient branch of the Nile. It runs in a direction nearly 
parallel to the river, at a distance varying from three to six miles. 

About eighty miles before reaching Memphis, the Libyan hills 
take a wide sweep to the north-west, and, again approaching the 
river, enclose a considerable space, known in ancient times as the 
district (nome) of Arsinoe, and now called the Fyum, This 
district, which was one of the most fertile in Egypt, contained the 
Lake of Moeris and the Labyrinth. Before reaching Memphis, 
the capital of Lower Egypt, and sometimes of the whole land, we 
see the gigantic Pyramids standing upon a natural terrace of rock 
on the borders of the Libyan Desert. In that vast level, as they 
grow and grow upon the approaching traveller, they bear a nearer 
resemblance to artificial mountains than could have seemed within 
the compass of human art. 

§ 7. A little below Memphis, the hills, which have so long accom- 
panied the river, turn off on either side, leaving a flat alluvial plain, 
called from its triangular shape the Delta (A), through which the 
Nile finds its way into the sea by several sluggish streams. The 
Delta was also called Lower Egypt, while the valley of the Nile, 
from above the Delta to Syene, received the name of Uppeb Egypt." 
The apex of the Delta, or the point where the Nile divides, was in 
the time of Herodotus at the city of Cercasorus, about ten miles 
below Memphis ; but it is now six or seven miles lower down the 

The ancients reckoned seven branches of the Nile, of which five 
were natural and two artificial; but the main arms were the 
FeltisiaCy which formed the eastern boundary of the Delta; the 
Ccmopic, which formed the western; and the Sebennytic, which 
continued in the direction of the river before its division. The 
bifurcation of the western branch made the Bolbitine mouth, east of 
the Canopic ; and three branches from the middle stream made the 
Fhatnitic, the Mendesian, and the Tanitic or Sattic mouths, between 
the Sebennytic and Pelusiac. The navigable arms are now reduced 
to two, that of BoseUa, the ancient Bolbitine, and that of Damiai^ 
the ancient Fhatnitic ; and a vast tract between this and the old 
Felusiac mouth is converted into the lake of Menzale\ which com- 
municates with the sea by the old Mendesian and Tanitic mouths. 
In fact, the Delta has always been fringed by lakes ; such as that of 

^ So named, not from the patriarch, but from an Arab mler who improved it. 

^* The term Middle Eotft is of late |[origin. As Mr. Kenrick truly observes, 
" the distinction of Upper and Lower Egypt exists in geological structure, in 
language, in religion, and in historical tradition.'* 


Mareotis (now a mere lagoon), on the bank between which and 
the sea Alexandria was built ; Buto (Bovrlos), through which the 
Sebennytic mouth flowed; and, half-way between Pelusium and 
the frontier of Palestine, the lake or morass of Serbonis, celebrated 
for the disaster of the army of Darius Ochus in b.o. 350 : — 

" That Serbonian bog, 
Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old. 
Where armies whole have sunk."— Miltok. 

Besides the mouths of the Nile, the Delta was intersected by 
numerous canals, said to have been dug by the hosts of prisoners 
whom Sesostris brought home after his victorious expeditions." Of 
the canal designed to unite the Mediterranean and the Ked Sea we 
shall have to speak in another place. 

The alluvial plain of the Delta forms a vast expanse, unbroken 
by a single elevation, except where mounds of earth mark the site of 
ruined cities, or raise the towns and villages above the inundation. 
Its length in a straight line, from north to south, is nearly 100 
miles ; the breadth of its base, following the line of the coast from 
the Canopic to the Felusiac mouth, is more than 200 miles ; but the 
name of Delta is now applied only to the space between the Rosetta 
and Damiat branches, which is about 90 miles in extent. 

Geological science shows that the Delta was once a deep bay and 
the valley of Upper Egypt an arm of the sea, from the bottom of 
which it has been raised, together with the adjoining isthmus 
of Suez. But during the whole course of human history, the country 
has shown the same chief features ; and the moderate rate of deposit 
of the soil, within the period measured by the existing monuments, 
leaves no ground for the speculations of Herodotus on the myriads 
of years which the Nile must have taken in filling up a gulf which 
once resembled the Bed Sea. The alluvium is only a superficial 
deposit on a bed of limestone, and the sea-shore of the Delta has 
rather receded than advanced within the memory of man. 

$ 8. The most wonderful occurrence in Egypt, the event upon 
which the very existence of the people depends, is the annual in- 
undation of the Nile. In all hot countries, an abundant supply of 
water is indispensable to agriculture; and as Egypt possesses no 
natural springs, and rain rarely falls in the upper country,^ the 
inhabitants can rely upon nothing but the waters of the Nile. The 
inundations of other rivers are capricious and uncertain, and carry 
with them desolation and destruction of life and property ; but the 
overflow of the Nile occurs at a regular and certain period, and 
spreads fertility and opulence over the land. The reasons of this 

M Herod, ii. 108. 

*^ Herodotus says, not at all (iii. 10) ; hut, in faict, rain falls about four or five 
timet a year in Upper Egypt. 


periodical overflow early excited the curiosity of observers; and 
various theories were invented to account for it. 

The true cause, the periodical rains which fall in Ethiopia, was 
first pointed out by Agatharcides of Cnidus,^ who. wrote in the 
second century before the Christian era. The periodic storms which, 
as in all tropical countries, follow the course of the vertical sun, 
descend in torrents of rain on the lofty mountains of Abyssinia. 
The White and Blue rivers are filled in May ; but it is not till after 
the summer solstice that the Nile begins to rise in Egypt. At the 
beginning of July the rise becomes clearly visible, and the water 
mounts higher and higher every day. About the middle of 
August, the dams are cut, and the flood is drawn ofif by numerous 
canals ; but the waters still continue to rise, and attain their great- 
est height in the last week of September. The level of the flood 
remains stationary for about a fortnight, and then begins gradually 
to decline. During the inundation, the land bears the aspect of a 
vast lake, out of which the towns rise like islands.® 

When the waters subside, they leave behind a thick black mud, 
which is superior to the richest manure, and produces crops of extra- 
ordinary fertility with hardly any cultivation. The ground requires 
the labour neither of the plough nor of the spade to prepare it for the 
seed, which, after being scattered upon the soil, and trodden in by 
cattle, springs up rapidly under the warm sun of Egypt .^ It was 
this which made Egypt the granary of the ancient world from the 
time of the Jewish patriarchs to the downfal of the Koman empire. 

Sometimes, however, the Nile fails to reach its usual height ; large 
districts are left beyond its reach ; the harvest is scanty, and much 
misery is the consequence. For this reason intense anxiety prevails 
throughout Egypt, when the Nile begins to increase ; and from the 
3rd of July its rise is proclaimed dajly in the streets of Cairo.^ 
In ancient times also its rise was carefully noted at Memphis, and 
messengers were sent to different parts of Egypt to inform the 
inhabitants of its increase or decline.*' There were Nilometers in 
different parts of Egypt: that at Elephantme, remains of which 
still exist, was in the form of a staircase. The height of a good 
inundation is now about 24 feet, which appears to have been the 
usual quantity in ancient times.^ If it falls below 18 feet dreadful 
famines ensue, and the wretched population perishes by thousands. 

22 Diodorus, I. 41. 

23 Herodotus (ii. 97) compares them to the islands rising out of the JEgean Sea. 
^ The intermixture of the black mud and bright green, with which the land is 

covered at this season is happily alluded to by the poet (Vii^. * Georg.' iv. 291) : — 

" Et viridetn iSgryptum nigrd fecundat arenfi,." 

25 Lane, Mod. Sgypiiana, toI. ii. p. 257. 26 ©iod. i. 30. 

27 In the time of Herodotus (ii. 18) the height of a good Nile was 15 or IG 


So terrible have been their sufferings upon these occasions, that 
instances have occurred, both in ancient and modem times, when 
they have been driven to feed on human flesh.^ On the other 
hand, an excessive inundation overflows the villages, and causes 
much destruction.^ 

§ 9. The physical features of Egypt enable us easily to account 
for the early prosperity of the country. In the first place, its 
inhabitants were shut oflf from the rest of the world in a rock- 
bound valley, and had little to apprehend from foreign intruders. 
On its western side, it stood in little fear of the barbarous tribes of 
the desert ; while, on the only open part of its eastern side, over 
the isthmus of Suez, the broad sandy desert which separated it 
from Asia presented obstacles to an invading army, which even 
Cambyses, wielding the whole power of the Persian empire, found 
it difficult to surmount. Hence, while other lands were constantly 
changing their inhabitants, and one nomad tribe was chasing 
another nomad tribe, the Egyptians remained stationary in the 
valley where they originally settled, cultivating the arts of agri- 
culture and peace, and retaining the civilization which they early 
acquired. We shall see, as we proceed, the contrast presented by 
the revolutions that followed one another in the more open valley 
of the Tigris and Euphrates, surrounded by the homes of warlike 
and conquering races. 

§ 10. Two other causes contributed to the rapid growth of the 
nation, an abundant supply of food, and easy means of communi- 
cation between different parts of the country. The increase of 
population in every country depends mainly upon the food which 
it produces ; and, till there is a surplus quantity of food, and a part 
of the population is relieved from the necessity of tilling the 
ground for its subsistence, a nation can make no progress in the 
cultivation of the arts and sciences. In Egypt, the annual inun- 
dation of the Nile made a nomad life impossible ; and the abundant 
crops, which the rich deposits yielded, stimulated population, and 
required the labour of only a small portion of the community. 

§ 11. The other cause which favoured the growth of the nation 
was the easy and uninterrupted communication afforded to the 
inhabitants by the Nile. One of the great difficulties, with which 
an infant state has to struggle, is the absence of roads ; and, till 
these are made, each part of the community must remain isolated, 
and dependent upon itself for the supply of its wants. It has taken 

cubits ; and tbe statue of the Nile, which Vespasian placed in the temple of Peace, 
at Rome, was surroanded by 16 diminutive figures emblematio of these measures 
(Plin. xxxyI. 9 § 14). This statue is preserved in the Vatican (Visconti, * Museo 
Pio Clement.' vol. L p. 291). See Kenrick*s * Ancient Egypt,' vol. i. p. 84. ^ 

** Died. i. 84 ; AbdaUatiph*s * History of Egypt,' p. 197, ed. White. 

* For example, in January, 1870, the Nile has risen higher than within living 
memory, causing a damage estimated at 8,000,0001. sterling. 


powerful nations many centuries before they have been able to esta- 
blish safe and easy means of communication between distant parts of 
their dominions. But the Egyptians possessed from the beginning 
a natural highway, — broad, level, and uninterrupted. In Ethiopia, 
the cataracts of the river and the intervening deserts prevented 
intercourse between neighbouring tribes, and confined each to its- own 
district : whereas in Egypt the river flows on, without any impe- 
diments to navigation, from Syene to the Mediterranean. 

There is another remarkable provision of nature, which renders 
the Nile a still easier means of communication. While the force 
of the current carries vessels downwards, the northerly winds, 
which blow nearly nine months in the year, enable them to ascend 
the river. Moreover, these winds blow the most steadily during 
the time of the floods, when the stream is strongest, and when navi- 
gation upwards would otherwise be impossible. These winds were 
called by the Greeks Etesian, or yearly winds.^ 

§ 12. While the Nile conferred so many material blessings upon 
the inhabitants of its valley, it also stimulated their rational 
faculties, and taught them to exercise forethought and prudence. 
Though it yielded an abundant supply of food with little labour, 
yet it did not cherish habits of idleness. The Egyptians did not 
find, like the South Sea islanders, a continuous supply of food 
growing upon the trees over their heads, and were not able to neglect 
provision for the future. The annual inundation of the Nile com- 
pelled them to secure their dwellings and their property from the 
violence of the floods, and to collect a sufficient supply of food to 
last while the land was covered with water. 

As the inundation occurred at a stated period of the year, it 
became necessary to calculate the time of its recurrence, which could 
only be done by observing the courses of the heavenly bodies. 
Hence the Egyptians divide with the Chaldseans the honour of 
having laid the foundations of Astronomy ; and Herodotus tells us 
that they discovered the solar year, that is, the circuit of the sun 
among the stars, and divided it into twelve months and 366 days.*^ 
As the inundation swept away all natural landmarks, it was neces- 
sary, when the floods subsided, to make an accurate division of the 
land, and to assign to each proprietor his proper fields. Hence arose 
the science of Geometry.*^ With an increasing population, and 

>® Herod, ii. 20. Some supposed that they caused the inundation of the Nile 
by holding back its waters from entering' the sea. 

^^ Herod, ii. 9. He adds that their method of adding every year 5 days to 
their 12 months of 30 days each made the circuit of the seasons to return with 
uniformity ; which it would not do, unless they also intercalated the odd quarter 
of a day which belongs to every year. This was in fact done, though Herodotus 
did not understand it, by the Sothic (or Dog-Star) period of the priests, in which 
1460 Sothic years of 365i days were equal to 1461 " vulgar " or " vague " yeaxs of 
365 days ; for 1 day in every 4 years makes up a yeai; (865) days in 1460 years. 

« Herod, ii. 109. 


with a territory limited by the sands of the desert, it became neces- 
sary to extend the inundation by artificial means to spots which it 
did not naturally reach. Experience taught that the fields were 
the most productive where the flood remained the longest, and had 
most time to deposit its fertilizing mud. Hence engineering science 
was early called into existence. Canals were dug to conduct the 
water where it was wanted, and its course was controlled by sluices, 
dykes, and similar works. 

§ 13. But this was not all. This beneficent river, regarded as a 
god by the ancient Egyptians,® exercised a powerful influence upon 
their ideas, and especially upon their whole system of religion. 
Alongside of the NUe, the giver of every blessing, there was a potent 
enemy, the Desert, whose wasting sands were continually driving 
through the ravines of the mountains, and threatening to destroy 
the life-giving powers of the river. Hence there was ever before 
the eyes of the Egyptians a struggle between Life and Death, The 
Nile, never growing old, renewing its life every year, and calling 
forth nature into new and vigorous existence, was the symbol of 
Life. The Desert, with its sombre hues, its unchanging appearance, 
its deadening and desolating influence, was the symbol of Death. 
The Nile, representing Life, became the Good Power, or Osiris ; the 
Desert, representing Death, the Evil Power, or Typhon. 

The nature of their country also determined the Egyptians 
respecting the disposal of their dead. They could not inter them in 
the valley, where the remains would be disturbed by the inun- 
daticm ; they could not consign them to the river, which was too 
sacred to be polluted by any mortal body. But above the valley 
was the long line of rocks, in which caves could easily be excavated 
for the reception of the dead. The dryness of the climate was 
favourable to their preservation ; and the practice of embalming 
still further secured them from corruption and decay. 

After a few generations the number of the dead in these recep- 
tacles far exceeded the number of the living. Hence the idea of 
death was brought prominently before the Egyptians. The contest, 
which was ever going on for the very existence of their land, gave a 
more present reality to the conflict of humanity itself; and while, 
on the margin of their valley, they were disputing the means of 
their existence with the devouring sand, they were also disputing 
with corruption their own persons and immortality. The present 
life seemed only a small moment in time ; while the other world 
appeared vast, unlimited, and eternal. Accordingly, the present 
life was regarded by the Egyptians as only a preparation for a higher 
and better state of existence.** 

^ Herodotus (il. 90) speaks of " the priests of the Nile." 

** There are some striking remarks respecting the inflaence of the Nile on 


§ 14. No nation of antiquity possessed such a vast variety of 
monuments as the Egyptians. They studded the whole valley 
of the Nile in one long series. Of this, again, a reason is to be found 
in the physical formation of the country. The rocks on either side 
of the river yielded an unlimited supply of stone, of almost every 
variety, for the Egyptian workman; while the Nile afforded the 
ready means of conveying the largest masses from one part of 
the country to the other. In ascending the Nile from the Delta, 
two parallel courses of limestone accompany the traveller for a long 
distance. A little above Thebes b^ns the red sandstone, of which 
most of the Egyptian temples were built. In the neighbourhood of 
Syene the particular kind of granite appears, to which the name 
of syenite has been given ; and on the eastern bank of the river are 
the granite quarries, from which the obelisks and colossal statues 
have been hewn. One obelisk still remains there, cut out but never 
removed from its native rock. In the mountainous district between 
the Nile and the Red Sea there is a still greater variety. Here are 
found quarries of white marble, of porphyry, of basalt, and of the 
fine green breccia, which is known by the name of Verde d'Egitto. 
The same district was rich in other mineral treasures; in gold, 
emerald, iron, copper, and lead. The Egyptians must have possessed 
iron at an early period, since without it they could not have worked 
the hard rocks of the granite quarries. Accordingly we find on the 
western flank of Mount Sinai heaps of scorias, produced by the 
ancient smelting of the copper, mixed with . iron ore, which still 
exist in this locality ; and hieroglyphic inscriptions still attest the 
working of the mines of the peninsula by the same early kings of 
the Fourth Dynasty who built the Great Pyramid. 

§ 15. The origin of the inhabitants of this singular country has 
been, from the earliest times, a favourite subject of speculation. The 
Egyptians themselves, like many other nations of antiquity, believed 
that they were sprung from the soil.^ Diodorus, who had conversed 
with Ethiopian envoys in Egypt, held that the tide of civilization 
had descended the Nile, and that the Egyptians were a colony from 
the Ethiopians of Meroe.* This hypothesis has been revived in 
modern times, with much ingenuity, by Heeren ; but it rests upon 
no historical facts, is improbable in itself, and is almost disproved 
by the absence of all ancient monuments in Upper Nubia, where 
nothing is found earlier than the times of the Ptolemies and the 
Komans. Even where the evidence of inscriptions is wanting, the 
monuments reveal, in their more careless workmanship and debased 
forms and decorations, not the primitive efforts of a ruder age, but 
the decay of the more perfect Egyptian art. 

the ideas and religious system of the Egyptians in Miss Martineau's ' Eastern life, 
Fast and Present,* vol.i. p. 64, seq. ^ Diodor. i. 10. ^ Diodor. iii. 11. 


When the Greeks became acquainted with Western India by the 
conquests of Alexander, they were struck with certain similarities 
between the Egyptians and Hindoos, and were induced to assign a 
common origin to both.^ This hypothesis, likewise, has been re- 
ceived with much fevour by some modem scholars, who have 
pointed out the striking resemblance between the system of castes, 
the religious doctrines, and the temple - architecture of the two 
nations. But the points of difference are very striking, even in 
many of their institutions. The rite of circumcision was practised 
from time immemorial by the Egyptians, but was unknown to the 
Hindoos till the Mohammedan conquest. The system of hiero- 
glyphic writing, which is peculiarly characteristic of Egypt, never 
existed in India ; and it is impossible to believe that an Egyptian 
colony would have settled in India without bringing with them their 
hieroglyphics, or that the Hindoos would have colonised Egypt 
without introducing their alphabetic writing and their religious 
books (the *Vedas'). Lastly, the languages spoken by the two 
nations are so different, that we may safely dismiss the hypothesis 
of a common origin of the Egyptians and Hindoos.* 

§ 16. Ajs we have seen in the Introduction, the only sure means 
of ascertaining the origin of any people is a knowledge of their 
physical features and their language. No people has bequeathed to 
us so many memorials of its form, complexion, and physiognomy, as 
the f^ptians. From the countless mummies preserved by the 
dryness of the climate we can ascertain their crania and osteology. 
From the numerous paintings upon the tombs, which have been 
preserved through the same cause, we also obtain a vivid idea of 
their forms and appearance. If we were left to form an opinion 
upon the subject by the description of the Egyptians left by the 
Greek writers, we should conclude that they were, if not negroes, at 
least closely akin to the negro race. That they were much darker 
in colour than the neighbouring Asiatics ; that they had hair frizzled 
either by nature or by art ; that their lips were thick and projecting, 
and their limbs slender, rests upon the authority of eye-witnesses, 
who had travelled in the country, and who could have had no motive 
to deceive.^ But, on the other hand, the mummies and the paintings 

•' Arrion, * Indica,' c. 6. 

^ One of the most learned supporters of this hypothesis was the late Von Bohlen, 
in his work entitled * Das alte Indien, mit besonderer Kiicksicbt auf Aegypten ; " 
bat the author subsequently abandoned the hypothesis as untenable. The argu- 
ments, both for and against the theory, are fairly stated by Prichard (' Researches 
into the Physical History of Mankind/ vol. ii. p. 217) who, however, attributes 
more importance to the similarity between the institutions of the two peoples, than 
is perhaps warranted by the facts of the case. 

** Herodotus, in proof that the Colchians were an Egyptian colony, says 
(ii. 104) that they were ftcAayxpo^f re koX ovAorpixcf* or ** black in oom- 



clearly prove that the Egyptians were not negroes ; and, even if no 
mummies or paintings had been preserved, there are other circum- 
stances which would make us hesitate before ascribing to the 
Egyptians the true negro character. If they had resembled the 
inhabitants of the coast of Guinea, the striking difference between 
their appearance and that of all the other nations of antiquity 
would have been distinctly stated ; and their intermarriages with 
fairer races would have excited remark. So far was this from being 
the case, that Joseph's brethren, when they saw him in Egypt, 
took him for an Egyptian ;** that the Jewish legislator permitted 
intermarriages with the Egyptians ;*^ and that Solomon married an 
Egyptian princess. It is also worthy of remark that no part of 
Africa, situated in the latitude of Egypt, is the native country of 
a genuine negro race."** 

The existing mummies are of various ages, going back at least 
as far as the time of the patriarch Joseph, and coming down to 
the time of St. Augustine. During this long period Egypt was 
repeatedly conquered and overrun. Various races took up their 
permanent abode in the valley of the Nile; and natives as well as 
foreigners were alike embalmed according to the Egyptian fashion. 
But the vast majority of the mummies are those of the native 
Egyptians, and their osteological character proves that they belonged 
to the Caucasian and not to the African race. The monuments and 
paintings, however, show that the Egyptians possessed a peculiar 
physiognomy, differing from both these races, approaching more 
nearly to the negro type than to any of the other Caucasian races.^ 
The fulness of the lips, seen in the Sphinx of the Pyramids and 
in the portraits of the kings, is characteristic of the negro, and the 
elongation of the eye is a Nubian peculiarity. 

New light has recently been thrown upon the whole subject by 
M. Mariette's discovery, in the north-easternmost part of Egypt, of 
a race of men of a type quite different from the Egyptians, "both 
ancient and modem, who seem not improbably to represent a more 
ancient population. The distinct separation of classes, though it be 
incorrect to term them castes, is an indication that the dominant 
Egyptians had overcome a previous population ; and it now appears 
that there was such a population, more nearly approaching to the 
African type, but decidedly not negroes. Whether this aboriginal 

plexion and with curling hair/* but not " woolly,'' as Prichard translates it. See 
also Luclan, * Navigium/ c. 2, and Ammianus Marcellinas, xxii. 16, § 23. 

*« Genesis xlli., 23, 30, 33. ** Deuteron. xxiii. 7, 8. 

** Prichard, vol. ii. p. 230. The American writers, Nott and Gliddon (* Types 
of Mankind,' Philadelphia, 1854, p. 216) are of course opposed to the negro 
origin of the Egyptians ; but they have stated the argument fairly and, it seems 
to us, conclusively against this hypothesis. 

« See K, O. Mailer, « ArchSologie der Kunst,' § 215, n. 1. 

Chap. I. NAMES OF EGYPT. 27 

population entered Egypt from the south of Arabia and down the 
Nile, is an hypothesis which awaits further discussion. 

§ 17. The intermediate position of the Egyptians between the 
Asiatic and African races is* also proved by an examination of their 
language. This langus^e is preserved in the Coptic,^ which was the 
native tongue of the Christian population in Egypt, and which, 
though it has now ceased to be spoken,** is still preserved in the 
translation of the Scriptures and in other ecclesiastical works. Many 
of the words and grammatical forms of the Coptic are akin to those 
found in the Semitic languages ; but the peculiarities of its gram- 
matical structure have a still stronger resemblance to those of several 
of the native idioms of Africa.** 

§ 18. The Egyptians themselves called their land CAcw,*^ or the 
Black, in opposition to the blinding whiteness of the adjacent desert. 
In the Hebrew Scriptures it is usually called Mizraim,^ the name of 
the second son of Ham in the genealogical table in Genesis x. But 

** Many Egyptian words, preserved by Greek writers, are clearly Coptic. The 
following examples, among others, are quoted by Kenrick, 'Ancient Egypt,' 
vol. i. p. 102. Herodotus (ii. 69) says that the crocodile was called xatt-^a'. 
in hieroglyphics it is hamso ; in C!optic amsah. Instruction was called by the 
Egyptians 8ho (HorapoUo, i. 88), which is the Coptic word for learning. ErpU 
was an Egyptian word for wine (Eustath. eul Od. i. p. 1633) ; removing the Greek 
termination, we hav» the Coptic erp. The origin of the word Coptic is doubt- 
ful. Some derive it from the city Coptos ; but this is only a guess from 
the similarity .of the names. Others connect it with the Christian sect of 
Jacobites ('Icuun/Sirai), to which the Egyptians belonged. But it is perhaps 
the ancient form of the name Egypt, by which the Greeks designated the country 
{Oyptf Kypt, Kopt). Bee Prichard, * Researches, &c.,' who decides, however, 
in favour of the second of the above etymologies. 

^ It is usually stated that the last person who could speak Coptic died in 
1 668 ; but it is said, on credible authority, that it was spoken as recently as 
90 years ago. See Nott and Gliddon's < Types of Mankind,' p. 234. A recent 
writer in the * Quarterly Beview* (July 1869, vol. xxvii. p. 40) says:— "The 
ancient Coptic language is, indeed, still maintained in church rituals and the like ; 
but though all among the clergy can read, we have never found any one of them 
who could understand the meaning of its characters. Coptic was, however, till 
within recent memory spoken by the peasantry in some towns of Upper Egypt, at 
Achmim in particular ; but want of school instruction has allowed this curious 
remnant of the past to fade away and ultimately disappear altogether." 

^ This question is fully discussed by Prichard ('Researches,' vol; ii. p. 
218, »eq.). The arguments of this writer are more convincing than those of 
Bnnsen, who maintains that the Coptic stands clearly between the Semitic and 
Indo-European, since its forms and roots cannot be explained by either of these 
singly, but are evidently a combination of the two. (See * Egypt's Place in 
Universal History,' Preface, p. x. trans. ; and * Outlines of the Philosophy of Uni- 
versal History,* vol. i. p. 185, aeq.), 

*' Chem or Khem is the name of Egypt in hieroglyphic inscriptions : in Coptic 
it is written Chemi, Plutarch says that the Egyptians called their land Chemia 
on account of the blackness of the earth {* De Iside et Osiride,' c. 83). This 
name is apparently preserved in that of Chemtnis, a larg^ city in the Thebaid, which 
the Greeks called Panopolis (Herod, ii. 91). 

^ Genesis x. 6. In the AssjTian cuneiform inscriptions Egypt is called Misir, 
Mu$ur, Muiuri, and Mu^us-ri ; in the Persian inscriptions Mudraim. 



Book I. 

this n&me, although employed as a singular, ts a dual in form, and 
is appropriiitely applied to a country which is divided by nature into 
the upper and lower provinces. By the Arabs it ia called Mar, which 
is only the singular of the Hebrew MizraiTa, and which aignilies in 
Arabic red, or reddish brown. Hence the ordinary Hebrew and 
Arabic name of Egypt has the same signification as the native name. 
Moreover, in the Hebrew records, Egypt is frequently called the 
Land of Ham ;*' and it is merely our faulty orthography that con- 
ceals the identity of the name of Noah's son, GAam.with the Egyptian 
Ohem. According to the strictly geographical interpretation of 
Genesis :., we may suppose the original name of Cham, for the 
whole land, to have been superseded by the dual Mizr^im, when the 
two divisions were fully rec<^nised. 

The origin of the Greek naine,*" by which the country is known 
throughout WeotCTn Europe, is uncertain; but tha most plausible 
conjecture connects it witli the nsjue of the Copta." 


laand VidnltrofPlillie. 


1. The enrUcst biitoriCBl rtcordt ue Ecyptiui. The BcriptDn notloa of Egrpt 
not s hialory or the ojuntry. % S. Greek Writfn on Egypt. Hmonnrue, 
EntoMbenes. Diodonie. SCnbo. PUny. § 3. Mxxnno. Bit EgyptUn 
Hie(OT7 loat. Eu LM or DynuUea. Ita defecU uid Tslne. § i. Tbe reel 
iiimocj at Egypt ii in ber on monimients ud books. TmUniany of Bunien 
and Lepelaa. Mnltltnde and penunena of the recorda. CongUmt ok at 
liieroglypbieB. Prlnlc docnmenti. § 1. Ordrc of tho monimieDti miong tbe 
Tftlley of the Nile. Extant BoakA> § 6. Manumenta of apeoial biatorieHl 
nine. Clua I,, for the general biatory of Egypt, (i.) Turin Fapycua. (IL) 
Chamber of Anneton. (111.) Old and Ne« TaUea of Abydoa. (iv.} Table of 
Sakksnu (•.) The Apia-Hlola. § 6. Clua II., tcladng to partionlHr relgna. 

menta. Method of atndying the Hlitory of Egypt. § I. Fabulona antiquity 
of the DiHon. Divina rnlers : Phthah ; Bt ; Agathodsamon ; Seb and Nelpe ; 

§ e. Egyptian Bittory of 
BEKODOTUB. isu uogfl irom neaeii m miBna. nitocria, BeHelriB, Fbenm, 
Proteiu, and Rhampalnitna. Cheopa, Ceptaren, Hycerinna, Aayclda, and 
Anyda. Tbe Elhloplui oonqoeit by Sabuwa. Hl< atory fliet beoDmei hiato- 
rical with Pauumeticbna. § 10. Tbe Liita of HtHEmo. Are tbey oonaaeB- 
live or, in part, contcmporaneana I Ferioda of Egyptian HIatory. 

S 1. This most aDcient of the natiooB offers to us the moet aocient 
of contemporary recorda ; and in thia sense, also, history begins with 
^Egjpt, If the sacred story of the patriarchs emhodies documents of 
an earlier age than that of the Pentateuch itself, they preserre the 
narrative of individual lives, for a moral and religions purpose, not 
the history of a nation. While the Hebrew patriarchs had as yet no 
possesaion in their promised land, they had deaUngs with poweriiil 
iingB of I^ypt ; and the Eiodus, which first made Israel a nation, 
falls under an advanced period of the Egyptian monarchy. These 
relations, as well as tbe part afterwards token hy Egypt in conflict 
with Assyria and Babylon over the dying body of the Hebrew 


monarchy, add a peculiar interest to Egyptian history. " Egypt, in 
feet, appears as the instrument of Providence for furthering its 
eternal purpose, but only as forming the background and contrast 
to that free spiritual and moral element which was to Brige out of 
Israel.''^ But it is not the design of Scripture to satisfy the curiosity 
thus stimulated. Its scenes of Egyptian events and of Egyptian life 
are most real and most truthful; but they supply no history of 
Egypt. The kings who reoeived Abraham and Isaac, Joseph and 
Jacob ; the new ruler, who " knew not Joseph ;" and he whose " heart 
was hardened ;" are all merely " Pharaohs," whose own names are 
unrecorded, and of whom we have no chronology. 

§ 2. The Greeks took an interest in Egypt similar to our own ; 
but this relation which excited it was even more direct. Egyptian 
kings were among the mythical founders of their own nation ; in 
Egypt they sought the chief source of their religion and civilization, 
their philosophy and art ; and even Egyptian jealousy of foreigners 
did not forbid them a footing in the land as traders and mercenary 
soldiers. The Persian conquest of Egypt was a prelude to the Uke 
attack on their own liberty ; and they allied themselves with Egyp- 
tian insurgents to oppose the common enemy.' 

It was, then, most natural that the inquisitive Greek traveller, who 
conceived the design of gathering up all he could learn of the East 
into a focus, which should throw Hght on the great conflict of his age, 
allotted the largest space in his preliminary work to Egypt, of which 
he tells us all he could learn down to its conquest by Cambyses.' 
The testimony of Herodotus to what he himself saw of Egyptian 
life and manners is in the highest degree trustworthy and valu- 
able ; but all the information that he gives at second hand needs to 
be tested by other lights. Precious, indeed, would have been his 
testimony, had he known the native tongue, and could he have read 
those hieroglyphics which he saw in their freshness, and of which 
he has only given one trivial translation, to the effect that the 
radishes, onions, and garlick, consumed by the labourers who built 
the Great Pyramid, cost 1600 talents of silver!* 

Much wasted labour might have been spared, had critics been 
content to heed the historian's own warning : — " Such as think the 
tales told by the Egyptians credible, are free to accept them for 
history. For my own part, I propose to myself, throughout my whole 
work, faithfully to record the traditions of the several nations ^^ 

The information doled out to him by the priests was such as suited 
their purpose and their traditions, and it was of course frequently mis- 

* Bunsen, * Egypt's Place in Univergal History,* vol. iv. p. 104. 
< See below, chapters viii. and xxviii. 

s Herodotus, book ii., aiid the earlier part of book iii. Herodotus wrote bis 
history about 445 b.c. * Herod. iL 125. & Herod, ii. 123. 


understood ; nor did he attempt to weave it into a consecutive history 
of Egypt. He relates such anecdotes as seemed to him interesting or 
amusing ; hut his chronological order is in complete confusion. He 
avowedly repeats just what he was told. His own ingenuous state- 
ment marks the reign of Psammetichus (b.c. 664) as the epoch at 
which his account hegins to he historical. *' Thus far," he says, 
"my narrative rests on the account given by the Egyptians:*** 
and then he resumes, " In what follows I have the authority, not of 
the Egyptians only, hut of others also who agree with liiem. I 
shall speak likewise in part from my own observation."^ 

The new means of knowledge acquired under the Ptolemies bore 
little fruit in the Greek and Roman literature. Eratosthenes, who 
lived in Egypt under Ptolemy II. Philadelphus,* drew up for 
that king, in Greek, a list of the ** Theban kings " (meaning kings 
of all Egypt), whose names he received from the priests or hiero- 
grammatists of Thebes : its chief use is for comparison with Manetho. 
Diodorus* increases darkness, rather than light, by his additions 
to the anecdotes of Herodotus, whose ingenuous care he entirely 
lacked ; nor do Strabo ^^ and Pliny ^* yield much further information, 
except quite incidentally. 

§ 3. There remains one writer, who alone professed to give a com- 
plete history of Egypt. This was Manbtho, an Egyptian priest, of 
Sebennytus in the Delta, who lived in the reign of Ptolemy Phila- 
delphus (B.C. 285-247), and was the first Egyptian who wrote the 
history of his country in Greek, from information preserved in the 
records of the temples. Of the body of his work we have only a few 
fragments ; but the chronographers, Julius Africanus and Eusebitiil^ 
who wrote in the third and fourth centuries after Christ, have pre- 
served the list of " Dynasties,** which was appended to Manetho's 
history. This list has come down to us with many obvious imper- 
fections, and with the distortions due to ignorance of Egyptian names 
on the part of the Greek copyists. Its early stages are manifestly 
fabulous; and, like every other document of a similar origin, it 
reflects the tendency of priests to give their own version of history, 
in the interest of the ruling classes. But it unquestionably embodies 
a large amount of real information ; and the statements of Manetho 

• Herod. iL 146, >•. ^ Ibid. c. 147, inU. 

s B.C. 285-247, Eratosthenes was born in 275 b.c. His List is preserved by 
Georgios Syncellus. See the criticism on Eratosthenes by Kenrick, * Ancient 
Egypt,* Tol. ii. pp. 97, »eq, 

• About B.C. 58. It is very important to observe one distinction between 
Herodotus and Diodoms, as to their sources of information, which is well put by 
Hr. Kenrick : — " The history of Hebodotus turns about Memphia as a centre : he 
mentions Thebes only incidentally, and does not describe or allude to one of its 
monuments. DionoBrs, on the contrary, is fiill in his description of Thehe»f and 
■ays little of Memphis." ^ About a.d. 18. ^ About b.c. 70. 


are coatinually being confirmed by the monuments, as an index to 
the study of which the list has real value. But there is danger in 
feeling bound to Manetho's arrangement, which is probably his own ; 
and the lengths of the reigns, often doubtless mere computations of 
the chronographers, are frequently contradicted by the monuments. 
While professed Egyptologers are more and more disposed to believe 
in Manetho, Sir George Cornewall Lewis regards his list as " his 
own invention ; aided, doubtless, by some traditionary names and 
stories derived from his predecessors." 

§ 4. The real records of Egypt's history are to be found in her 
own monuments and her own books. The nation which stands first 
in history was also the first to write it, and the record has been pre- 
served by a concurrence of favourable circumstances. Bunsen says, 
" No nation of the earth has shown so much zeal and ingenuity, so 
much method and regularity, in recording the details of private life, 
as the Egyptians. No country in the world afforded greater facilities 
for indulging such a propensity than Egypt, with its limestone and 
its granite, its dry climate, and the protection afforded by its desert 
against the overpowering force of nature in southern zones. Such a 
country was adapted, not only for securing its monuments against 
dilapidation, both above and below ground, for thousands of years, 
but even for preserving them as perfect as the day they were erected. 
In the North, rain and frost corrode ; in the South, the luxuriant 
vegetation cracks or obliterates the monuments of time. China has 
no architecture to bid defiance to thousands of years ; Babylon had 
but bricks ; in India the rocks can barely resist the wanton power 
of nature. - Egypt is the monumental land of the earth, as the 
Egyptians are the monumental people of history. Their contemporary 
records, therefore, are at once the earliest and most certain source of 
all Egyptian research." 

Let us add the testimony of Lepsius to the nature and multiplicity 
of these records : — " An intense desire after posthumous feme and a 
place in history seems to have been universal in ancient Egypt. 
This exhibits itself in the incredible multitude of monuments of all 
descriptions which have been found in the valley of the Nile. All 
the principal cities of Egypt were adorned with temples and palaces. 
Towns of lesser note, and even villages, were always distinguished 
by one temple at least — oftener more. These temples were filled 
with the statues of gods and kings, generally colossal, and hewn from 
costly stones. Their walls, also, within and without, were covered 
with coloured reliefs. To adorn and maintain these public buildings 
was at once the duty and pride of the kings of Egypt. But 
even these were rivalled by the more opulent classes of the people 
in their care for the dead, and in the hewing and decoration of 
sepulchral chambers. In these things the Egyptians very far 


surpassed the Greeks and Romans, as well as other known nations of 

** Still further to enhance to after times the value of these ever- 
during monuments of ancient Egypt, it was universal with the 
inhabitants to cover their works of art of every description with 
hieroglyphics, the purport of which related strictly to the monuments 
on which they were inscribed. No nation that ever lived on the 
earth has made so much use of its written system, or applied it to a 
purpose so strictly historical, as ancient Egypt. There was not a wall, 
a platform, a pillar, an architrave, a frieze, or even a door-post, in an 
Egyptian temple, which was not carved, within, without, and on 
every available surface, with pictures in relief. There is not one of 
these reliefs that is not history ; some of them representing the 
conquests of foreign nations; others the offerings and devotional 
exercises of the monarch by whom the temple, or portion of the 
temple, on which the relief stood, had been constructed. Widely 
different from the temples of Greece and Rome, on which inscriptions 
were evidently regarded as unwelcome additions, forming no part of 
the original architectural design, but, on the contrary, interfering 
with and marring it — the hieroglyphic writings were absolutely 
essential and indispensable to the decoration of a perfect Egyptian 
temple. • 

" This writing, moreover, was by no means confined to construc- 
tions of a public nature, such as temples or tombs, but was also 
inscribed on objects of art of every other conceivable description. 
Nothing, even down to the palette of a scribe, the style with which 
a lady painted her eyelashes with powdered antimony, or even a 
walking-stick, was deemed too insignificant to be inscribed with the 
name of the owner, and a votive dedication of the object itself to his 
patron divinity. Inscriptions with the names of the artists or 
owners, so rare on the remains of Greece and Rome, are the universal 
rule in Egyptian art. There was no colossus too great, and no 
amulet too small, to be inscribed with the name of its owner, and 
some account of the occasion on which it was executed.'' ^ 

The vast variety of these inscriptions supplies a check on their 
trustworthiness. In those of a public character, we may suspect a 
fictitious history composed by priests, or displayed for their own 
glory by despotic monarchs ; but we can turn to the private records 
of tombs which have been sealed up since the day when they were 

§ 5. It has already been said that these monuments stud the 
whole valley of the Nile, with one interruption, from the Delta, 
through Upper Egypt and Nubia, to the island of Meroe. Their 

^ On the Hieroglyphic Writing, see chap. ix. sect. 5. 

c 3 


antiquity and perfection corresponds very nearly with their order 
along the river, the best and oldest being the lowest — one striking 
proof that the civilization which they represent ascended the course 
of the river. They may be grouped in the following series : ^ — (i.) 
About Memphis. — The Pyramids and tombs at Abou-'Roash, Jizeh, 
Alxm-Seir, Sakkara, and Dashoor, These are the monuments of the 
Old Monarchy, chiefly of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Dynasties of 
Manetho. (ii.) Contemporary with the oldest of these are the 
monuments in the peninsula of Sinai, at Wady-Feiran (Paran), 
Wady-el'Magharah, and Sa/rhuUel-Kadem, (iii.) In Middle Egypt. 
—The monuments, partly perhaps of the kings of Manetho's Ninth 
and Tenth Dynasties, but chiefly of those of the Twelfth, at 
Meidun, Illahiin, and the Fyitm, (iv.) Returning to Sais, Tanib, 
and Heliopolis, we find monuments which break the geographical 
series, owing to the power which the New Monarehy, of Theban 
Kings, held also over Lower Egypt, (v.) But in their own proper 
district the series * continues upwards, in the sculptured tombs of 
Beni-hassan, opposite Hermopolis the Great, and at Tel-Amama, 
(vi.) At This and Abydos (about ArahaUeUMadfouneK), the old 
seat of Manetho's First and Second Thinite Dynasties (but none of 
the monuments are theirs), (vii.) The stupendous remains of 
Thebes about the villages of Medinet-Ahou, Luxor^ rfnd Kamak, 
(viii.) The remains at Esneh (Latopolis), EUKdb and EUHUlaal 
(Eileithyia), Edfou (ApoUinopolis), Eadjar^SeUeleh (Silsilis), with 
its quarries, (ix.) The quarries of Syene, and the rock-hewn temples 
of Elephantine and Philae. (x.) Above Egypt itself; the monu- 
ments at Ahou Simbel, Soleh, and Barkah (xi.) And lastly, those 
of Meboe, at Sofra, Naga, &c. These last are the smallest, the 
poorest in style, and the most decayed, though the most modem. 
To these monuments must be added the innumerable extant hooks, 
chiefly of religious ritual and moral precepts, which the Egyptians 
wrote, from time immemorial, upon the delicate membrane prepared 
from the reed called papyrus, which anciently fringed the banks of 
the Nile, and which gave its name to paper, 

§ 6. Among these records, there are some which deserve especial 
mention for their historical value. They may be divided into two 
classes, according as they relate to the history of Egypt in general, 
or to particular reigns. Of the first class, the following are the most 
important, (i.) The Turin Papyrus, if perfect, would give us an 
authoritative Egyptian counterpart of the Lists of Manetho, down 
to the most flourishing period of the monarchy. It is a list drawn 
up under, and apparently by order of, the great Rameses II. (of the 

^' Lepsius : * DenkmlUer.' This great work has the advantage of depicting the 
£g}'ptiatt monuments in chronological order. 


Idch dynutjX of aU the penooagcs, wbetber mythologKal or hi*- 
tonal, viio woe bdieved to hare ragned in Egrpc from the eariiert 
a^ Unfixtaitttelj it only exists in IM small fragments, whidi it 
is otfien impoasbie to piece together. (iL) Ttie Chamhfr tf Amefti<fn 
vas tend at Karmaij and is now in the Imperial Librvy at Paris. 
It is a sort of shiine, on the walls of wtiich is depicted Thothmes 
IIL, the gicaiest king of the 18th dynasty, ntalring oferings before 
the images of 61 of his pfedeoesaon, whose names, as Gsaal, are 
inscribed in hioo^yphicsu Besides, however, some nnfortcnate 
mctOataoos, the anoeston form a tdectitm, not a complete list. 
(iiL) The TaiU if Abydm^ now in the British Hcseom, lepresents 
a similar adoration of anoestois fay Bamwys IL; hot in a sadly 
mntiiated eonditioo. Of 50 names, only 30 remain more or less 
Ic^bie. Happfly, howerer, nearly all the laeumiE hare been sup- 
plied by the Stw TaUe if JbydM, o( Sed I., the Either of Bamean 
IL, xcoently diseorered by IL Ifarietie. (ir.) The Table cf Sah- 
hsT9, apother disoorery of H. Mariette, and now in the M nseom 
at CSuio, was ibond in the tcmb of a priest named Toonari, who 
fired imdcr Ramwrs IL In aoooidanoe with the belief of the 
Egyptians, it represents the pious deceased as admitted, in the 
other world, to the society of the kings, of whom 58 are represented 
on the monument. These are doubtless the kings most honoored 
at Memphis ; and the sdection corresponds rery nearly with that 
on the Table of Abydos, bat with a fiew interesting difierenoes. 
It most iMi be feigotten that, while these lists are, beyond aU 
reasonable doobt, the authentic memorials of the historical belief of 
the priests and scribes idio compiled them, they are no more con- 
dnsire eridenoe that all the kings they represent ever lived and 
reigned, than are the pictores of the Scottish sovereigns at Holyrood ; 
and that their oon£ormity with the lists of Manetho carries ns bat^ 
DO Ibrther than the same priestly traditum. Bat they are in- 
valnable aids in determining the soocession of the kings whose 
names we find on contemporary docaments. (v.) For the 4P*^ 
ttdat^ or AffU4MtUj we are also indebted to M. llariette*s dis- 
covery of the sepulchre of the sacred bulls at Memphis. We have 
to ^Kak, in the proper place, of that odebrated article of the Egyp- 
tian £udi, that Osiris was periodically revealed in the fonn of a 
bull, known by certain marks, and named ApU at Memphis, and 
Mmem* at Helk^oUs. When an Apis died, he was boned with a 
pomp that sometimes rained his curator. The sepuldire is an 
arched gallery, hewn in the rock, about 20 feet in width and height^ 
to the length of 2000 feet, besides a lateral branch. On both sides 
of the gadlery are hewn recesses^ <nr, as Sir Gardner Wilkinson 
calls them, tUHU^ each containing a saroophagus of granite, 15 feet 
by 8y on only a few of which is a cartouche of the name of the 


enclosed Apis. But on the walls at the entrance of the cavern, as 
well as scattered on the floor beneath, tablets were found, recording 
the visits paid to the sepulchre by kings and other persons. These 
** Apis-steloe^* are contemporary documents. 

§ 6. Of the second class of monuments — those referring to par- 
ticular reigns — the most important will require notice as we proceed. 
They are of two descriptions, papyrus MSS. and monumental in- 
scriptions. Among the former are panegyrics on the deeds of kings, 
official correspondence and accounts, and literary compositions of a 
more general nature. We may mention one interesting example. 
At the brilliant court of Rameses II. there were nine principal men 
of learning attached to the person of the king ; and at their head 
one whom we may venture to style Pharaoh's Master of the Rolls. 
This officer, named Kagabu, who is described as unrivalled in ele- 
gance of style, wrote a work for the use of the crown prince, Seti 
Menephtha (who is now identified with the Pharaoh of the Exodus), 
the moral of which resembles that of the story of Joseph and Poti- 
phar's wife." 

The monumental inscriptions of this class are both public and 
private. The former are engraven on obelisks or tablets, or on the 
walls of temples, where they often serve as the written exposition of 
scenes presented more vividly to the eye by immense coloured bas- 
reliefs, depicting the military exploits of the kings, or their triumphs 
after battle. The inscriptions and paintings relating to private 
persons throw a flood of light on the daily life of the people, the 
condition of their families and slaves, the economy of their estates, 
the construction of their houses and gardens, their banquets and 
recreations, within and out of doors, and sometimes even on their 
individual history and character. Besides all this, they give most 
important data for history and chronology ; when, for instance, we 
find it recorded that the occupant of the tomb was born on a par- 
ticular day and month and year of the reign of one king, and died 
at such an age on a particular day and month and year of another. 

This mass of records, however, was sealed up in an unknown 
character till the present century ; when, among the fruits of the 
French expedition to Egypt, the famous ** Rosetta Stone " was 
brought to our Museum. This trilingual inscription, in the hiero- 
glyphic, demotic (or ordinary Egyptian) and Greek characters, sup- 
plied the key by which the ingenuity of Young and Champollion 
independently unlocked the secret of hieroglyphic writing, and gave a 
living voice to ancient Egypt.^ The results of this discovery have 


^^ This papyrus, ticquired by Mrs. D'Orbiney in 1852, and now in the British 
Museum, is translated among other documents, by Brngsch, * Aus dem Orient,' 
1865. '^ See chap. ix. sect. 5. 


prescribed the course of all inquiries into Egyptian history. We 
must rest upon the native records as our only sure foundation, 
but of course submitting them to the laws of criticism. The 
scanty accounts of ancient writers are generally to be inter- 
preted by the monuments ; but sometimes they supply other facts. 
The Lists of Manetho may serve to some extent as a guide to the 
order of the whole. 

§ 7. As in India and China, so in Egypt, a fabulous antiquity 
was claimed for the beginning of the nation. The reign of the gods, 
for ages before that of human kings, is supposed to indicate a pri- 
meval hierarchy. Manetho prefixes to his list of purely human 
dynasties, reckoned from Menes, a period of about 25,000 years for 
the reigns of Gods,^ Demigods, Heroes, and Manes (the souls of the 
departed). The series of the seven divine rulers looks Uke a religious 
allegory of the creative enei^ and conflicts of nature, by which the 
land was prepared for human habitation. The first is the creative 
Phtha, the worker by the energy of Fire, Next comes Ra, the 
Sun^ who was worshipped from time immemorial at On (Heliopolis). 
The third is AoATHODiEHON, the Greek translation of an Egyptian 
name, which is supposed to represent the vital principle generated 
from the waters. The middle place is filled by Seb (Cronos or 
Saturn), the personification of Time, standing between the creative 
powers and those by which the world is governed. The latter are 
the children of Seb and Netpe ; and among them are Osiris and Isis. 
Of these, Osibis appeared in human form, as the fifth divine ruler, 
who, after working aU manner of good for men, is put to death by 
the malice of Typhon, the evil principle, but is restored to life and 
made the judge of souls. Typhon, the usurper, is slain by Isis, with 
the assistance of her son Horus, who fills the seventh and last place 
(as a demigod) among the divine kings of Egypt, and, as the type of 
youthful energy perpetually renewed (like Apollo), he is the source 
of succeeding dynasties and the special leader of the Egyptians. 
The demigods of Manetho (on the authority of Syncellus) were 
eight: Mars, Anubis, Hercules, Apollo, Ammon, Tithoes, Zosos, 
Jupiter.^* This mythological age is called on the inscriptions " the 
times of the Bor-sheson " (servants of Horus). 

§ 8. The Lists of Manetho, the statements of the priests to Hero- 
dotus and Diodorus^ and the inscriptions, all agree in making Men 
or Menes the first man who reigned in Egypt ; and the very name 
suggests a mythical impersonation of the human race, like the Indian 
MenUy the Greek Mxnyas and Minos^ the Etruscan Menerfa^ and 
the German Mannus. His claim to historical existence fails before 
the only proper test ; for the hieroglyphs of his name are not con- 

^ See Sir G. Wilkinson's Note on Herod, ii. 44, Rawlinson . 


temporary y^ The priestly tradition connected him with the widest 
range of Egypt's dominion, placing his birth and early kingdom at 
This, in Upper Egypt, his great works at Memphis, and his conquests 
and death in Ethiopia, where he was killed by a hippopotamus. The 
significance of the legends respecting Menes will be seen better when 
we gain some sure basis of genuine history. 

§ 9. The priests read to H6rodotus, from a papyrus, the names of 
330 kings, the successors of Menes, among whom were eighteen 
Ethiopian kings and one native queen, Nitocris ; all the rest were 
kings and Egyptians. The last of them was Mgbbis, the constructor 
of the great lake in the Fyum, who had not been dead 900 years 
when Herodotus visited Egypt.^^ Moeris, as we shall see, represents 
probably one or more kings of Manetho's 12th dynasty. Herodotus 
then passes on to Sesostris,^' the great conqueror, and his son 
Phebon,^ who was struck blind ; names which, like Mceris, are dis- 
guised under their Greek form, but point to the great exploits of the 
18th and 19th dynasties, though the name of Sesostris may possibly 
come from the 12th. The Mempbian Pboteus, the successor of 
Pheron,2i is made contemporary with the Trojan war, a pseudo-chro- 
nological inference from the Homeric fable of Proteus ; while the 
amusing anecdote about his successor Khamfsinitits,^ and the thief, 
puts all chronology at defiance by placing a Khamses (as the name 
seems to imply) before the Pyramid-kings. It would seem, in fact, 
that Herodotus had before him two lists of kings, the one belonging 
to Upper and the other to Lower Egypt ; and, having told all that 
he found interesting about the Thinites and Thebans, from the 
1st dynasty to the 19th, he passes to the earliest Memphians of 
the 4th, imaware of his chronological disorder.® We shall have to 
notice in their proper place his statements about the pyramid-builders, 
Cheops, Cephben, and Mycebinus,^ names now perfectly identified. 
That of AsYCHis, the builder of a brick pyramid, is more doubtful ;** 

^' His hieroglyph reads Mna or Menai. ^ Herod, ii. 101 and 13. 
^ Herod. U. 102, seq. «> Herod, ii. 111. 

^^ Herod, ii. 112, seq. The " successor," in these anecdotes, 
is simply the king whom Herodotus pleases to mention next. 
« Herod, ii. 121, seq, 

^ See Sir 6. Wilkinson's note to Herodotus, ii. 124 (Rawlinson). 
The two following sets of five comprise all the longs selected by 
Herodotus from the 330 read out to him by the priests : — 
Thinites and Thebans, Memphites. 

MENES. Menes. Cheops. 

Moeris. Cephren. 

Sesostris. Mycerinus. 

Pheron. Asychis. 

Rhampsinitus. Anysis. 

^ Herod, ii. 124, seq. 

^ Herod, ii. 136. Sir G. Wilkinson supposes him to have been Shishdk, of the 
22nd dynasty (called AsochsBus by Josephus), perhaps partly confounded with some 
other king. In Rawlinsou*s * Herodotus,' I. e. 


and 80 IB Ahtbis, the blind kiogy who was driven into the marshes, 
while Egypt was oonqnered by a vast army of Ethiopians, led by 
Sabaoob, who ruled for fifty years.* This conquest corresponds 
to the 25th (Ethiopian) dynasty of Manetho, which we find sjm- 
chronising with Assyrian and Hebrew history about the time of the 
downM of the kingdom of Israel; and the restoration of Anysis 
may be probably connected with the revolution by which the native 
princes who had preserved their independence in the Delta, ex- 
pelled the Ethiopians.'' 

With the completion of that revolution by the establishment of 
PaAiCMJgi' l C H UB on the throne (about b.c. 664), the notes of Herodotus 
£dl into historical order. We have now collected into one view the 
outline of his contributions to the earlier history of Egypt. His 
order, or rather disorder, is followed by Diodorus, with the addition 
of a few fects of some importance, of which, however, no separate 
statement need be made at present.** 

1 10. Turning to the Lists of Manetho, we find the whole succes- 
sion of kings, from Menes to the final conquest of Egypt by the 
Persians, divided into 30 dynasties, to which is added a 31st, com- 
posed of the Persian kings till the conquest by Alexander. The 30 
dynasties are distinguished by the seats of the royal power, except 
the three dynasties of Shepherd Kings (15-17),* the Ethiopian$ 
(25), and the Per»ian$ (27) of the first Persian conquest. These 
capitals were, in Upper Egypty This, Elephantine, and Thebes ; in 
Middle Egypt^ Heracleopolis ; and in Lower Egypt, Memphis, Xols, 
Tanis, Bubastis, Sais, Miendes, and Sebennytus. The years assigned 
by Manetho to the respective dynasties make up a total of 5462 
years ; but his own statement at the end gives a period of 3555 

This discrepancy seems almost decisive of the question, whether 
the dynasties of Manetho are successive and continuous, or in part 
contemporaneous.'* The former alternative seems quite incredible, 
with reference both to the times and places ; and, if not irreconcilable 
with the monuments, it is certainly not confirmed by them. The 
latter view is adopted by the best modem authorities, with a few 
distinguished exceptions;'' nor is the difficulty of arranging the 
contemporaneous dynasties in an exact scheme a sufficient objection 

>* Rierod. il. 1S7. See farther in chap. rii. 

*' Herod. iL 1S9, 140. The legend of the priest-king SsTHoe (e. 141) aeemt 
to be ft eonfoslon oi Tuioos stories belonging to different times. 

>* Diod. L 45-68. ** But in some copies these are ThAam. 

** Beckoning bsek firom sboat b.o. S50, the former date would carrj ns to b.c. 
5812, the latter to b.c. S905. But the numbers rary in different copies. 

*^ Manetho himself speaks of contemporarj ** kings of ThebaTs and of the other 
proriBces <A Egypi." 

*> Bimsen and Benan are the most eminent adrocates of the long ehronologj. 



Book I. 

to the principle. Neither is the attempt of much consequence ; for 
the whole history of Egypt may easily he grouped under the follow- 
ing broad divisions :— (i.) The Old Monarchy, which had its capital 
at Memphis, in Lower Egypt, but probably ruled over the whole 
land, (ii.) The Middle Monarchy , and the foreign domination of 
the Shepherd Kings, (iii.) The New Monarchy of Thebes, nnd^ 
which Egypt was reunited and raised to the acm^ of its power, 
(iv.) A period during which power was held by various princes of 
Lower Egypt, till the establishment of a second foreign domination 
— the Ethiopian, (v.) The later SaUe Monarchy, which reunited 
Egypt till it was conquered by Cambyses. (vi.) The Persian 
Domination, with one episode of recovered independence, down to 
the conquest by Alexander, (vii.) The Hellenist Kingdom of the 
Ptolemies, till Egypt became a Roman province, (viii.) The Roman 
Province of Egypt, till the conquest of the country by the Arabs. 



The following is the arrangement proposed by Mr. Lane and 
Mr. Stuart Poole for the Dynasties down to the New Theban 





III. MeTnphite8. 




y. Elepbantines. 

IX. Heracleopolites. 








XrV. Xoltea. 

xvi. } Shepherds. 

XVII. Shepherds. 

Bpbini incl PymuldB. 



crown. § 3. Tbe Third Dymulg (Mtmphian). Tbe LibyKna labdned. < 
CDntempoT&ry Hiatory beglna with the Fourth Hynatt^ [Manphian), and 
Pjramids. NvBH of KHiro and hli lirother In the GreBt Pyramid :- 
Cbidm of HatodntM. § J. The Becnnd Pjrimid of CiPBiuin or Bb* 
Hi> temple and lUtne. § e. The Third PyrBinld of Mtciuhui oi Ji 
KtsK. His ooffln ud mummy. Sorie and tbe Pyramid of Abon-I 
§ T. The Pyramid! in general. Motires for Ihcir conBtrncHon. § B. T 

figared decorations and ioKriptlons. They are I 
kings, g S, ThB eoloual Bphini : prohahly of th 

intpU-tiimtii of deiSei 
id-period. Thai 

vlTid ^otnies ot llf^ under the Old Monanhy. Physical a 

ownera. FaatoTal and agrlcnltorai operations. Amusements. Domesticated 
anlmalB. Abeence of the horse. Mechanical arU. Writing. High sUte of 
art. Uoral phltoaophy of the age. § 1 1. It was a period of peaoa and proa- 

UivFini. Ita precedence otbt Tbebea and Hellopolis. § H. Necrop^^ie of 
Mamphls. Architecture of the tombe. § 15. The Memphian Dynasties ; Srd, 
4th, Cth, rih, 8th. Connection of the Fifth [Slephanlini) Dynatig with 
Uemphie. Belatlons between Upper and Lower Egypt. § 16. KeUgiona 


conflicts under the Fourth Dynasty. Impiety and oppression of Cheops and 
Cephren. Piety and deiflcation of Mycerinos. Confirmations from the monu- 
ments. § 17. Bimsen*s vievf of the religious and political union of Upper and 
Lower Egypt. § 18. The Sixth Dynasty : difficulties ahout its origin. Pepi- 
Maire and Pepi Neferkera. Nitoc&is. Her connection with the Third Pyramid. 
§ 19. Seventh and Mghth Dynasties. Fall of the Memphian Monarchy. Ifinth 
and Tenth Dynasties at Heracleopolis. § 20. Ahsence of a chronology thus 
far. Various hypotheses. 

§ 1. Memphis was the earliest seat of the Egyptian kingdom. There 
are the oldest monuments, and its foundation is ascribed to Menes. 
If the origin of Menes from This ^ indicates a still older local king- 
dom in Upper Egypt, that kingdom has disappeared, leaving no con- 
temporary records, but only the traditions recorded in the List of 
Manetho. The removal of Menes from This to Memphis implies 
the subjection of the former to the latter ; and the New Table of 
Abydos and the Table of Sakkara appear to make the two contem- 
poraneous. The traditions seem to indicate a rivalry between the 
priests of Upper and Lower Egypt for the first honours of national 
civilization. While both rendered equal reverence to Menes, Neche- 
rophes, the head of the Third (the first Memphite) Dynasty was 
regarded as his contemporary ; and to Athothis, the son of Menes, 
and Tosorthus, the son of Necherophes (who seem indeed to be 
identical) are ascribed in common the possession of great medical 
knowledge, the patronage of letters, and the first use of hewn stones 
in building a temple at Memphis. 

§ 2. Manetho assigns to his First (I7nnite) Dynasty seven kings 
during a period of 250 years. The fifth king, Hesep-ti (Usaphaidos, 
M.^) is often mentioned in the Funereal Ritual (an extant papyrus) 
as the author of some sacred books. The Second Dynasty y also of 
Thinites, consisting of nine kings in 302 years, is signalised as the 
period of the introduction of animal- worship, which is thus marked 
as an innovation. In the reign of Caiechos (Kitjl/eou), the second 
king of this dynasty, the bulls Apis and Mnevis were worshipped at 
Memphis and Heliopolis respectively, and the goat at Mendes ; all, 
be it observed, in Lower Egypt. His successor, Binothris {Ba- 
neter-en) is said to have legalized the succession of women to the 
crown ; and the eighth king, Sesochris, is described as a giant. 

§ 3. The Thii'd Dynasty of Manetho consists of nine or eleven 
Memphian kings, for a space of 214 years. The first king, Neche- 
rophes, the contemporary of Menes, subdued a revolt of the Libyans, 
the rebels being panic-stricken at a sudden increase of the moon ; so 
early did tradition place the subjugation of the tribes of the Western 

^ This was a city of Upper Egypt, about 100 miles below Thebes, and near 
Abydos {Arahat~el-ifadfounah) which supplanted it. 

2 This abbreyiation indicates the name giyen by Manetho. 


§ 4. These notices are culled by Manetho from the traditions of 
the priests ; but now we approach the confines of that real history 
which is attested by contemporary records. The ovals ' of the first 
. and second dynasties are certainly none of them contemporary ; they 
are votive or traditional inscriptions on buildings, tablets, or writings 
of a much later date. Some are ascribed to the Third Dynasty ; 
but the only three legible names, which are clearly contemporary, 
are assigned by the highedt authority, Lepsius, to the Fourth and 
Fifth Dynasties. The most important of these is on a bas-relief 
carved on the rocks of the Sinai group, representing King Snofru 
(commonly identified with Sephuris of Manetho's Third Dynasty), 
as subduing the Arabs of the peninsula. 

It is with the Fourth Dynasty of Memphian kings that we first 
find monumental records coinciding with historical tradition ; and 
with them the real history of Egypt "begins. Their names are re- 
corded alike in the pages of the father of history, and on the stones 
of the oldest and most majestic monuments of the world, the 
Pyramids of Jizeh, north-west of Memphis. If the mound of the 
BirS'Nimroud be indeed the remains of the Tower of Babel,* it has 
been for ages a shapeless ruin, while the oldest Pyramids, preserving 
their first form, and not entirely stript even of the outermost 
stones, still rise like everlasting mountains over the vast level plain, 
challenging, from the beginning of recorded history, research into 
the mystery of their meaning. 

Hidden during all those ages in the very centre of the mass of the 
Great Pyramid, safe from defacement and mutilation, and so placed 
as to be beyond all suspicion of their genuineness," General Howard 
Vyse discovered, as lately as the year 1837, the hieroglyphic charac- 
ters which the workmen painted, for their own mechanical uses, on 
the huge stones before they left the quarry ; and those characters 
have been decip4l>ed as Khufu or Shofo and Num-Khufu or 
Nu-Shofo (the brother of Khufu or Shofo, and doubtless co-regent 
with him).' In these kings we at once recognise the Suphis I. and 
n. of Manetho^ and the royal tablets, and in the former the Cheops 

' In hieroglyphic writing the name of a king is always enclosed in an oval or 
cartouche, as the name of Menes on p. 38. 
^ See below, chap. x. 

^ On the rough surfaces of stones built into the mass. 
• On Horace's principle, " Segnins irritant animos, &c.," we give copies of 

these quarry-marks : | /^ ^'^^/S © ) *® ^^f^ • | /v ^h /jT^ /\ | 
Num-Khufu, or, in an abridged form [ ^ |( (r\ J\^ | Nu, 

tint TO) 

^ That these two reigned together, in part at least, is confirmed by the lengths 



Book 1. 

to whom Herodotua expressly ascribes the Qreat Pyramid. Justly, 
thererore, does LepBins describe this work bb " the Pyramid of Cbeopa, 
to which the first link of our monumental history i$ fastened im- 
movably, not only for Egyptian, but for DniTereal History." 

S 5. The Second Pynanid of Jizeh is doubtless that which 

Herodotus says was built bj Cephren, the successor of Cheops, cl 
to th« former, and of nearly the same size, but nomewhat lower.' 

of tbelr Tdani u rtalrd by Sfanetho, slther SO »nd 5g yem, or B3 and BB ; for 

• Hecod. li. 127. In caUiog CephrEn the brolhei oF Cheoph BerodDtni wenu 
to hBfe confnKd Mm with Nnm-KhnM or SapW. II. Diodoim (I. M) inenllona 

trus luiiu iru Ctubrjli, ■ mDch neuer sppinuh to Sha/tt. 


This king is probably identified with Sha/re, the Sephres of 
Manetho's Fifth Dynasty, but, according to Lepsius, of the Fourth. 
His name has not, indeed, been found on the Pyramid, but it 
appears on several tombs and tablets, often with the addition "of 
the Lesser Pyramid." It is also distinguished, in the tablets of 
kings, like that of Cheops, by a pyramid among its component 

A most interesting monument of this kiug is the great temple, 
close to the Sphinx, only lately uncovered by M. Mariette, who 
found in it a life-sized portrait-statue of the king, sculptured in 
the hard trap-rock called diorite, and inscribed with his name 

besides fragments of other statues with the same 



I 6. The Third Pyramid^ much inferior in size to the other two, 
but excelling them in beauty, as it was cased halfway up with 
£thi<^ian granite, is ascribed by Herodotus to Mycebinus, whom 
he makes the suooessOT of Cephren;' and, in Manetho, Suphis II. 
is followed by Mencheres.^® In this case, the identification is even 
more striking than in that of the Pyramid of Cheops. The Third 
Pyramid still retains some courses of its granite £Eu;ing, bevelled 
at the edges ; and when Belzoni entered the edifice, he found in- 
deed that Arab spoilers had been there before him ; the coffin had 
been taken from the sarcophagus, and broken open ; but there lay 
the ooffin-lid, inscribed with the name of Men-ka-be and, in the 
nei^bouring passage were the withered relics of a body, supposed 
to be that of the king himself; though some say that it is the 
corpse of an Arab, who perished iu the Pyramid when it was entered 
by Othman. The human relics and the fragments of the case may 
both be seen in the British Museum ; and the hieroglyphics of the 
name are repeated on the tablets of kings, in one of the small pyra- 
mids which are grouped about the great ones, and elsewhere. 

The Middle Pyramid of Abou-Seir, to the south of those of Jizeh, 
has been claimed, on the authority of a name inscribed as a quarry- 
mark, for Soris, the first king of the Fourth Dynasty ; but Lepsius 
refers it to Usercheres, of the Fifth. 

§ 7. These Pyramids are but the chief and the most ancient of 
a series extending along the rocky platform, which raises them beyond 
reach of the inundation, to the west of Memphis, along a space of 
about twenty miles, from Jizeh on the north to Dashour on the south). 

Such was the extent of the vast cemetery, where the myriads of 
the Memphian dead reposed in their rock-hewn sepulchres, high 
over which the temple -tombs of their sovereigns pointed to the 

* Herod, ii. 129, 134. ^* The name also occurs in the Fifth Dynasty. 


sky. Monuments of haughty grandeur and despotic power as they 
are, common sense suggests the higher artistic motive for their 
size and form; a motive which is felt as soon as they are seen. 
Like the cathedral spires of the middle ages, they are the land- 
marks of a vast space which sets them before the eye in their 
sacred dignity, while their huge mass is in harmony with all the 
objects that surround them, and with the very atmosphere through 
which they are seen. The emotions excited in a thousand genera- 
tions are the justification of their builders. 

§ 8. It is a misleading generality to speak of the Pyramids simply 
as Egyptian. They are the characteristic monuments of the Old 
Memphian Monarchy, just as the vast temples of Luxor and 
Kamak, with their pillared naves and towering propylaea, are of 
the New Theban Monarchy. The practice of pyramid-building 
cannot be traced beyond the Twelfth Dynasty, for the pyramids of 
Nubia are later and very inferior resuscitations of the form. Equally 
distinct is the religious idea of the Pyramids from that of the palaces 
and temples of after ages. While the walls of the latter display immense 
reliefs and paintings, and are covered with hieroglyphics, to the glory 
of the kings and their patron deities, the former are almost, and in 
the best and oldest example, the Great Pyramid, quite bare of even 
structural decoration. Not for want of skill and art, as is abundantly 
shown by the contemporary tombs around them, and by the perfec- 
tion of their own workmanship. Had we no other monuments of 
the age, the mechanical skill required to remove the huge stones from 
the opposite side of the Nile, and to raise them to the height of 
nearly 500 feet ; to quarry, and polish, and transport the granite 
used in the linings and sarcophagi ; to preserve every form and angle 
with geometrical exactitude, and to fit the masonry with joints as 
thin as writing paper (not to insist on the supposed evidences of 
high astronomical and other science) — all this would, of itself, display 
ihe work of a highly civilized people, governed by a power which, 
in the security of peace, could command unlimited resources of 
labour, and was ready to expend the human material with the im- 
sparing selfishness of a despot. The priests told Herodotus" that 
" Cheops closed the temples and forbad the Egyptians to sacrifice, 
compelling them instead to labour, one and all, in his service. A 
hundred thousand men laboured constantly, and were relieved every 
three months by a fresh lot. It took ten years' oppression of the 
people to make the causeway for the conveyance of the stones. The 
4*yramid itself was twenty years in building." 

The fairest conclusion from the absence of those decorations 
which were lavished on private tombs, is that the Pyramids were 

1^ Herod, ii. 199. 


r^arded as temples^ as well as tombs, in an age and nation which 
had not yet adopted image worship ; and when, as we have seen, 
the pantheistic symbolism of animal worship was new. Tombs, in 
general, were sacred to the deities of Amentia the Egyptian Hades ; 
bnt the pyramid-kings seem themselves to have aspired to divine 
honours after death, and among the epitaphs of their subjects we find 
such titles as ** priest of Khufu,'* " priest of Shafre " ; nay, the Great 
Pyramid is called the ** Temple of King Khufu." The absence of 
decoration is equally remarkable in the great temple of Shafre near 
the Pyramids. The temple-towers of Babylonia, though in many 
respects of a different type,^ have a sufficient resemblance to the 
pyramids to suggest a common derivation of the idea from the Tower 
of Babel, a suggestion quite consistent with the Cushite origin of the 
Egyptians, and the position of the Pyramids in time as the earliest 
extant of human works. Their perfection shows that they were no 
first rude essays in architecture. 

§ 9. In front of the Pyramids, on the edge of the platform of rock 
on which they stand, but lower down and looking eastward over the 
Nile, stands the colossal Sphinx (at e on the Plan). A man's head rises 
above the sands which leave visible only the back of the body of a lion, 
both hewn out of the solid rock, the strata of which are not only clearly 
seen, but ** the figure appears all cruelly cut into by the weathering of 
its rock." ^ ** The head and face are reddish, the neck and line of the 
back white, on the yellow sand." " " About the face and head, though 
nowhere else, th^e is much of the original statuary surface still, 
occasionally painted dull red ; and the curvature of the cheeks and 
cheek-bones shows a certain degree of high sculpture, especially 
when we observe the scale on which it is wrought."^ The temporary 
clearance of the sand effected by Captain Caviglia, in 1818, showed 
that the length of the body is 140 feet ; the fore-paws, which are 
constructed in masonry, project 50 feet further ; and the height from 
the platform between the paws to the top of the head is 62 feet, the 
original elevation of the native rock.'^ 

The rock is not, however, levelled to this depth, but the 
platform is approached from the side of the Nile by. a sloping 
descent cut in the rock for 135 feet, and ending in a flight 
of 13 steps ; from the platform there is another descent of 30 
steps to the space between the Sphinx's feet. Like the Pyramids, 
it is free from hieroglyphics; but, on the side of a little temple 
between its paws, Caviglia discovered tablets representing Thothmes 
IV., of the 18th dynasty, and Bameses the Great, of the 19*b, 

^ See below, chap. x. 

^ Piazsi Smyth, * Life and Work at the Great Pyrainid,' vol. i. p. 322. 
»* Ibid,, Tol. i. p. 58. ^ Ibid., vol. i. p. 323. 

^* Howard Yyse, * Pyramids of Gixeh,* toI. iii. Appendix, pp. 109-1 19. 


worshipping the figure of " the Sphinx, Ear-Eat^ the giver of life, 
&c., the ruler of the upper and lower world, &c., like the sun for 
ever and ever." These tablets only prove it to be older than the 
kings who set them up ; its real age is probably, from many indicar 
tioHS, that of the Pyramids themselves. 

Its meaning has no connection with the classic fable of (Edipus. 
The Greek Sphinx was female ;^' the Egyptian was male, — ^the sym- 
bolical statue of a god or king, uniting the attributes of power and 
intelligence in the lion's body and the man's head, crowned with the 
royal fillet.^^ From the proximity of the Sphinx to the building 
called Shafre's temple, and some other indications, it is thought by 
some to be the statue of that king, by others a divine image which 
he consecrated. If the former, it was doubtless a portrait ; but the 
weathering of the strata has worn the essentially Egyptian features 
into what some have mistaken for the negro type. In the later ages 
of Egypt, we find sphinxes used in the decoration of temples ; and 
the human head is often replaced by those of animals symbolical of 
divine attributes, such as the ram and hawk. 

§ 10. The silence of the Pyramids respecting the life of the 
Egyptians under the Old Monarchy is made up for by the surround- 
ing tombs. Their internal walls are covered with hieroglyphics and 
with the more universally intelligible language of pictures, which show 
us the subjects of the Old Memphian kingdom in the midst of their 
daily business, banquets, and recreations. " Here we see the regular 
physical type of the Egyptians ; a reddish-brown complexion, with 
the nose long, and either straight or slightly aquiline, the lips 
rather full, and the forehead not high ; but the shape of the head is 
hidden by the already universal wig?^ Other clothing is scanty ; a 
short kilt, sandals, a necklace ; and in some cases a leopard's skin 
over the shoulders, the distinctive dress of the priests. The complexion 
of the women is a yellowish pale olive ; they wear a single, close- 
fitting, elastic dress of a brilliant scarlet, supported under the 
breasts by shoulder-straps, and coming down, without a fold or 
wrinkle, to the ankles, where it is wide enough to allow of the 
separatiouof the feet in walking or dancing. The wig is larger than 
that of the men ; and princesses are only distinguished from servants 
by their necklaces, bracelets, and anklets of blue and white glass beads." 

The social state is that of an aristocracy of landowners, using 
with harsh oppression the labour of a servile peasantry and of 

'^ If the Greeks borrowed the idea firom the Egyptians, they may hare been 
misled as to the sex by the wig and head-dress. It is remarkable that the sphinx 
is not mentioned by Herodotus, nor by any Greek or Latin author earlier than 

** Clemens 'Alex. Strom.* 6, p. 671 (Potter). 'AAic^c ^«tA awivti^ trviLfiohiv 
V <rft>CyS, 1* An Egyptian wig may be seen in the British Museum. 


domestic slaves. ''Throughout the whole of the pictured scenes, 
there is not a single instance of a peasant enjoying, or working for, 
himself under his own vine and his own fig-tree ; no independent 
thought, or look, or action, on the part of the poor men is allowed ; 
but they are all in official training to serve the prince of the time 
being ; and administrcUion is the order of the day." * According to 
a constant convention in Egyptian pictures, the owner of the tomb 
is represented by a colossal figure, armed with a baton, and standing 
the whole height of the wall, which is divided, in front of him, 
into horizontal compartments, in which his servants are at their 
various occupations. The taskmaster is always present, and the 
bastinado at work : not even the cripples are exempt from labour ; 
and over them we often find the words " Slaves bom in the house 
(registered) in the books of the house for ever." 

The estates were large, as many as ten or fifteen belonging to 
one owner, who receives from his overseers accounts of the produce, 
which a scribe records, each with its distinctive name. Everything 
seems done on a scale of vastness and profusion : the droves of oxen 
are numbered by thousands ; two or three rows of cows are milked at 
once ; long trains of servants come in laden with provisions ; whole 
droves of oxen are slaughtered before the master ; and his table is 
piled up with slices of bread, pyramids of fruit, joints of meat, and 
the favourite dishes of roast geese. Pastoral operations are on a 
larger scale than agricultural. The seed is sown broadcast, and 
beaten in by driving sheep ^ and goats over the newly-inundated 
land ; reaping is performed with a sickle ; thrashing by driving herds 
of donkeys about a floor ; and winnowing with spades. 

The amusements of the field are eagerly pursued : hunting, 
fishing, and fowling. We see the fowler, in his papyrus boat, ap- 
proaching the reeds that then fringed the banks of the Nile, to 
strike the birds which fly into the clap-nets spread by his servants. 
The chief in-door amusements are concerts and the performances 
of dancing-girls, witnessed by the master and by ladies, who sit on 
chairs of an elegant form. 

One curious feature of these scenes is the number and variety of 
the domestic animals : donkeys, dogs, apes, antelopes, gazelles, geese, 
ducks, tame storks, and pigeons : but others, familiar to a later age 
of E^pt, are never seen, as fowls, camels, giraffes, elephants, and 

^ Piazzi Smyth, ' Life and Work, &c,* toI. iii. p. 380. 

^ M. Benan (in his valaable article in the ' Revue des Deux Mondes/ April, 
1865) denies that there are any sheep ; but Professor Piazzi Smyth (p. 381) dis- 
tingcdshes the sheep, "long-legged things, with horizontal and mutuaUy-diverging 
horns, uid the goats with venerable beards and lyre-shaped retreating horns." 
But neither are numerous, compared with the oxen, " of magnificent qaality, 
and of a portliness which shows them rather intended for the butcher than the 



horses. The absence of the horse is peculiarly interesting, as shewing 
that we have not reached the period of that Pharaoh who made 
Joseph to ride in the second chariot that he had.^ It was to 
their Semitic neighbours, and probably to the invasion of the Shep- 
herd Kings, that the Egyptians were indebted for the horse. 

Among the mechanical arts depicted are cabinet-making, and 
what has been interpreted as glass-hlowing ; but the handleless 
hammers of the carpenters shew an age in which human labour 
was unrelieved by even the simplest machinery. Writing with a 
reed on papyrus is in constant use ; and the cursive characters of 
the quairy-marks in the Great Pyramid prove that it had passed out 
of its earliest stage. In short, the civilization represented is in 
every respect as high as that of any later period of the Egyptian 
monarchy ; and the art is even higher. The ignorance of perspec- 
tive, common to every period of Egyptian art, and the absence of 
any idealizing power, must not lead us to undervalue the perfect 
truth to nature with which the animals and other objects are depicted, 
or the freedom of form and motion in the human figure, not yet 
trammelled by the sacred conventionalism of later ages. This 
free style of art is thought to shew a period when the sacerdotal 
power was not dominant ; and the inscriptions, which tell us of 
the social position and offices of these long-buried dead, confirm 
the view that the country had reached that political stage, in which 
the government had passed from the priestly to the military class. 

Nor are we without testimony to the moral views of these 
oldest Egyptians. In the Imperial Library at Paris there is a 
papyrus written by Phtha-hotepf an old man of the royal blood, 
in the reign of Assa-Tatkera (probably the Tancheres of Manetho*s 
5th dynasty), and containing thirty- five moral precepts addressed to 
his son ; in which filial obedience is made the basis of morality, and 
its principle is extended to the duties of a subject to his king — 
the sign of an age of patriarchal despotism. It contains such pre- 
cepts as the following : — " The son who receives the words of his 
father shall grow old thereby. The obedience of a son to his father 
is happiness. He is dear to his father, and his renown is on the 
tongues of the Uving who walk upon the earth. The rebellious 
sees knowledge in ignorance, virtue in vice, each day he audaciously 
perpetrates frauds of every kind ; and so he lives as one already 
dead. That which the wise know to be death, is his daily life ; he 
goes on in his way, loaded with maledictions." ^ 

The conclusion is interesting as an example of longevity, and 
breathes the spirit of self-satisfaction which characterised the reli- 
gion and morality of the old Egyptians : — " I have become one of 

22 Genesis xli. 43. Comp. chap. t. § 10. 

*3 Lenormant, • Histoire Ancienne,* vol. i. p. 208. 


the old men of the land ; I have accomplished one hundred and ten 
years, with the grace of the king and the approbation of the elders, 
fulfilling my duty towards the king in the place of favour." 

§ 11. The monuments, inscriptions, and pictured scenes of this 
period, all testify to a period of prosperity and peace. 

No soldiers appear on the monuments; and none of the great, 
men carry arms. The only sign of war is the coercion of trouble- 
some Arab tribes in the peninsula of Sinai, where the Memphian 
kings, as we have seen, worked copper mines.** The country is at 
a high pitch of wealth under a powerful government. That such 
should be the earliest scene presented to us in the ancient world, 
fills every student of history with amazement. " When we think 
of this civilization," says M. Benan, ** that it had no known infancy ; 
that this art, of which there remain innumerable monuments, had 
no archaic epoch ; that the Egypt of Cheops and Ccphren is supe- 
rior, in a sense, to all that followed, on est pris de vertigey 

Of the ruder labours which prepared the country for this high 
condition, we have no other indication than the traditions preserved 
by Herodotus about Menes. 

§ 12. Before the time of Menes, he says, the Nile flowed close 
under the sandy range of hills which skirts Egypt on the side of 
Lybia. By raising a dyke at the bend which the river forms about 
a hundred furlongs south of Memphis, Menes turned the river into a 
new course halfway between the two lines of hills ; and on the site 
thus reclaimed on the left bank he built Memphis. He also built 
the temple of Hephaestus (Phtha) within the city.** Herodotus 
testifies to the care with which the dyke was preserved by the 
Persians in his time, lest the inundation should burst upon Memphis.^ 
There seems no reason to reject this tradition of some great engineer- 
ing woi^s connected with the first establishment of Memphis ; but 
their nature may have been misunderstood. 

It is not improbable that the true object was to confine the Nile 
to its clayey bed, and to prevent the percolation of its waters through 
the sand-hills of the Libyan Desert, and behind the pyramid-hills, 
into the chain of the lower Natron Lakes on the west of the Delta, 
which wasted its fertilizing waters and caused its lower arms to be 
lost in marshes, which, in the earliest age of Egypt, were probably 
uninhabitable, so that the population was confined to the narrow 
valley. The bifurcation of the river appears to have been at one 
time some 14 miles above Memphis, at Kasr-el-Syat, whence an 

M 8m eliap. i. § 14. 

^ The Temple was enlarged by snocestiTe kings at distant periods : See Herod. 
11. 99, 101,108-110, 121, 186, 153, 176; Died. i. 45, 51, 62, 67. Its grand 
avenue {dromoi) was need for l>all-fights, which are represented on the tombs ; 
though the boll Apis was the sacred animal of Memphis. ^ Herod, ii. 99, 

D 2 


ancient bed may be traced to the Libyan hills. Here is the elbow 
of which Herodotus speaks; and the dyke of Menes (of which all 
trace is obliterated by the rise of the soil), may have stopped up 
this western branch, and diverted the rest of its water into the 
lake which, Herodotus says, Menes constructed on the west of 

§ 13. This securing of the site of Memphis was the first pressing 
labour of its founders. Of the city itself our knowledge is sadly 
small. Its position " in the narrow part of Egypt " * — ^just below 
the expansion of the valley towards the Fyum, and above the opening 
to the Delta — commanded the passage between Upper and Lower 
Egypt, and fitted it to be capital of the whole country.^ 

It seems to have occupied the whole space of about three miles 
between the river and the hills. Its circuit is said by Diodorus to 
have been 150 stadia, or 15 geographical miles. Its walls contained 
three enclosures, of which the innermost, or citadel, was called " the 
White Wall ; " ** and one of its hieroglyphic names is " the white 
building." It is also called " the land of the pyramid " and " the abode 
of Phtha," its great patron deity.'** The worship of that oldest of the 
gods marks its religious precedence before both Heliopolis and Thebes, 
whose patron deity was Ea, the Sun. As is usual in the old lands 
of castes, the priestly Memphis preceded the warlike Thebes. The 
substructions of the temple of Phtha, and of other buildings, as well 
as the colossal statues and stelae of Eameses II., and a broken statue - 
bearing the name of Sabaco, identify its site with the plain covered 
with palm-trees, in which stands the village of Mitrahenny or Mitra- 
niehf about 10 miles south of Cairo. (This modem capital, however, 
is on the opposite, or right, bank of the river.) The mounds which 
mark the ancient site extend over a circumference of 3 leagues.® 

§ 14. To the west, on the foot-terraces of the Libyan range of 

^'' It was across this lake the dead were ferried to their sepulchres. See Piazzi 
Sm^th, vol. iii. p. 386, seq. ; andKenrick, * Ancient Eg^pt,' toI. i. pp. 112, 113. 
^ Herod, ii. 99, oomp. ii. 8. 

» Diod. i. 50. 80 Thucyd. i. 108 ; Herod, iii. 13, 91. 

^ Memphis is the Greek form of the Egyptian name, which is compounded of 

the hieroglyphics, " Men " = foundation^ or station^ and " Nofre " = good, vari- 

ously interpreted as " the place or haven of good men " or ** the 

a E y gate of the blessed," and ** the tomb of the g^ood man," i.e, Osiris. 

3 C I Plutarch (* De Isid. et Osir.' 20) explains it by op/mos iyoBStv or ri^ 

3 C I 'OaipCSo^. Both senses, Gesenius remarks, are applicable to Memphis, 

as the sepulchre of Osiris, the Necropolis of the Egyptians, and 

^^^ hence also the haven of the blessed, since the right of burial was con- 

l^v^^ ceded only to the g^ood. The name seems also connected with that 

Uof Men-eSf the hero eponymua of the city. In Hebrew, it was Noph 
(Isaiah xix. 13 ; Jeremiah ii. 16, xlvi. 14. 19 ; Ezekiel xxx. 13, 16), 
or Moph (Hosea ix. 6). The name is preserved in the Coptic Mephi^ 
Memphif Menofre, Moph^ and Panouf ; and in the modern Matwuf ot 
the Delta. See Sir G. Wilkinson's Note to Herod. iL 91, Bawlinson. 
22 Keniick, « Ancient Egypt,* vol. i. p. Ill 


hills, the great Plain of the Pyramids extends from Abott'Eoash, a 
little to the north-west of Cairo, to Meydoom, ahout 40 miles to the 
south, and thence in a south-westerly direction ahout 25 miles further, 
to the pyramids of Howarc^ and Biahmu; containing ahout 60 
pyramids great and small. But the proper Memphite Necropolis is 
comprised within a length of ahout 15 miles from Jizeh to Sakkara, 
and contains, prohahly, 30 tomhs of the sovereigns of Memphis.* 
There are no tomhs on the eastern side of the Nile : the West was 
regarded as the land of darkness and of death. 

The internal architecture of these tomhs is instructive. The 
sepulchral ahodes of the dead, who only slept, would naturally he 
modelled after the homes of the living. Partaking of that simplicity 
which we have seen in the Pyramids and in the temple of Shafre, 
their only decoration consists in hands, hoth vertical and horizontal, 
with rounded surfaces, as if reproducing in stone the trunks of the 
trees most common in Egypt, the palm and sycamore. It may be 
inferred that the primitive Egyptians were no dwellers in caves 
{troglodytce), as some have supposed, but that their habitations were 
wooden houses, in which the natural trunks served for pillars and 

§ 15. Memphis was unquestionably the seat of the Third, Fourth, 
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Dynasties of Manetho. He styles his 
Fifth Dynasty Elephsmtine ; and assigns to it 31 kings'^ and 
nearly 600 years. Their names are associated in Memphian tombs 
with those of the Fourth Dynasty ; and some are identical in both 
lists. No facts are recorded of these kings. They seem to have been 
a contemporary branch of the royal house of Memphis, ruling at 
Elephantine on the southern border of Egypt; the two govern- 
ments being sometimes united under the sovereign reigning at 

But, in truth, the relation of the Memphian Monarchy to Upper 
Egypt is altogether obscure. "No mention is even incidentally 
made of Thebes ; a city may have existed there, but not of sufficient 
importance to be a rival power to Memphis. Hitherto no trace of 
the dominion of the Memphian kings has been found at Thebes or 
elsewhere in Upper Egypt, except some alabaster vases from Abydos, 
bearing the standard of Chufu; and portable antiquities afiford no 
decisive evidence. But this is no proof of Theban independence, 
since the fixed monuments of this age are entirely sepulchral ; and 
the Memphian kings and their great officers would be buried near 
their own capital. If Thebes has no monuments of Memphian 

■■ Bnnsen, 'Egypt's Place, &c.,» vol. ii. p. 88. 

** According to the better reading in the Armenian Chronicle of Ensebins : the 
Greek text has only 9 in 218 years. The hypothesis that they reigned at some 
unknown Elephantine in Lower Egypt violates a sound canon of criticism. 


dominion, neither has it any of its own, and it appears probable that, 
till the Twelfth Dynasty of Manetho, it continued to be a place of 
little account" *• 

§ 16. The period of these great Memphian kings of the Fourth 
Dynasty seems to have been one of religious strife and convulsion. 
Their memory had an ill-savour with the sacerdotal colleges. The 
priests told Herodotus that Egypt was well governed till the reign of 
Cheops, who closed the temples and forbad the Egyptians to offer 
sacrifice ; a statement contradicted by the evidence of contemporary 
tombs. ^ Manetho only says that Suphis I. (Cheops) was arrogant 
towards the gods, but, repenting, wrote the sacred book ; but 
Diodorus declares that Chembes (i.e, Cheops) was excluded after 
death from his own pyramid, and buried in a secret »place to save 
his body from the insults of the oppressed people.*^ The period of 
oppression, Herodotus adds, lasted for 106 years, the united reigns 
of Cheops and Cephren, whose names the Egyptians so detested that 
they chose rather to call the Pyramids after Philition, a shepherd who 
at that time fed his flocks about the place.^ 

Mycerinus at length opened the temples, and allowed the people 
to return to their occupations and to resume the rites of sacrifice. 
He surpassed all former kings in justice ; and, if any man was dis- 
satisfied with his decision, he paid the penalty he had awarded out 
of his own purse. Yet another story made him die of grief from a 
passion for his own daughter, and another shews forth the opposition 
between king and priest in his grotesque device for proving the 
oracle of Buto a liar. The fatalism of the Egyptian religion is shewn 
in the sentence on Mycerinus for his very virtues towards his people, 
because he had not fulfilled the destined term of their oppression for 
150 years.^ 

These traditions of a religious conflict are not unconfirmed by 
the monuments. In the temple of Shafre is a well, containing 
brol^en fragments of statues of that king, made of the most costly 

*^ Eenrick, * Ancient Egypt,' toI. ii. p. 142, 143. The removal of the dead 
to their family sepulchres, however distant, was a sacred custom of the Egyptians. 

M Herod, ii. 124 : comp. the absurd tale in c. 126. Observe the historian's 
own caution (o. 123), already quoted. See chap. ii. § 2. 

37 Diod. i. 64. The argument has been urged, that the traditional character 
of Cheops but ill accords with the prosperity shown on the monuments of his 
reigrn. But this prosperity of the landed aristocracy is quite consistent with the 
oppression of the common people ; and of their happiness, as we have seen, the 
monuments give no proof. 

^ Herod, ii. 128. In this curious and obscure tradition there may possibly be 
an allusion to the inroad of the Shepherd Kings from the side of Palestine ; and 
their oppression may have been confounded with that of the Pyramid Kings. 

^ Herod, ii. 129-133. Two kings of the same name are perhaps mixed up in 
these stories. Lepsius suspects that the sceptical Psammetichus, on whose shield 
we -find the name Menkera as an ** augmentation " may have been confounded 
with the pious Pyramid-king. 


stones, and evidently flung in by violence ; a token, so far as it goes 
for anything, of an ontburat of revolutionary hatred. The respect 
of the priests for the memory of Mycerinus looks like their tribute to 
the author of a new establishment, which secured the sway they 
afterwards exercised over the whole life of the Egyptians. We have 
many proofs of his deification. On the coffin-lid found in the Great 
Pyramid, Menkera is identified with Osiris. In the Tablet of 
Abydos, his shield contains the sign denoting "god.** In the 
*' Ritual of the Dead ** he appears as a deceased and deified king ; 
and his name is often found on the carved beetles (scarabcti), which 
were used as amulets, of a date (as their w^orkmanship proves) long 
subsequent to his death.^ 

§ 17. According to the view of Bunsen, " The amalgamation of 
the religions of Upper and Lower Egypt had already united the 
two provinces, before the power of the race of This in the Thebaid 
extended itself to Memphis ; and before the giant work of Menes 
converted the Delta from a desert, chequered over with lakes and 
morasses, into a blooming garden." After this, the political union of 
the two divisions was effected by the builder of Memphis. '* Menes 
founded the Empire of Egypt by raising the people who inhabited 
the valley of the Nile from a little provincial station to that of an 
historical nation."^ The process of consolidating this power would 
not unnaturally lead to conflicts with the priests of the local deities 
that were revered in every part of Egypt. At all events, it seems 
certain that the main elements of the Egyptian religion had received 
their permanent form under the old Memphian kings. M. Marietta 
has found the names of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys, the great deities 
common to all Egypt, on monumenjbs at Sakkara, which be regards 
as contemporary with Cheops. 

§ 18. The Sixth Dynasty^ of six kings in 203 years, is styled by 
Manetho Memphian. Some hold that this Sixth Dynasty succeeded 
the Fourth at Memphis, while the Fifth continued to reign at Ele- 
phantine, even as late as the domination of the Shepherd-kings in 
Lower Egypt.^ In the absence of Manetho*s History, his mere List 
fails to show the ground of distinction between the dynasties, or the 
causes which handed down, or handed over, the power from each 
to its successor. But he tells us that the first king of the Sixth 
Dynasty, Othoes, was killed by his guards, after a reign of thirty 

** Kenrick, * Aneient Egypt,' toI. ii. p. 188. 

** Bunsen, * Egypt's Place, &c.,* toI. i. p. 441 ; vol. ii. p. 409. 

*» The evidence for this is an inscription, making Unas, the last king of the 
Fifth Dynaftty (Onnos in Iftanetho) eontemporary with Assa, the fifth king of the 
Fifteenth Dynasty (of Shepherds) at Memphis ; but the reading is very doubtful. 
Lepeios considera not only the 5th dynasty (whose seat at Elephantine bordered 
on Ethiopia) bat the 6th also, as Ethiopian; their 15 kings, with the 8 of the 
25th dynasty, making up the 18 Ethiopian kings of Herodotus. 


years.*^ Now, if the critics are right who identify this Othoes with 
the Onnos who closes the Fifth Dynasty, we have the not impro- 
bable inference that the original Memphian monarchy was sup- 
planted by a revolution, which had its beginning with the guards 
stationed on the frontier at Elephantine. 

But, be the cause what it might, the second king of the Sixth 
Dynasty, Pepi-Maire or Pepi-Remai (Phios, M.),'*^ ruled over the 
whole country, with a power attested by the number and variety of 
his monuments, from Syene at the cataracts to Tanis in the Delta. 

The monument which gives us his titular name indicates that he 
constructed or improved the road to the port of Kosseir on the Eed 
Sea, and so raises the presumption of a commerce between Egypt 
and the seas of Arabia, and perhaps India. The military prowess of 
Pepi is attested by his monuments to the east and south of Egypt. 
We see him warring against the Arabs of the peninsula of Sinai 
(like the kings of the Fourth Dynasty) ; against other Arab tribes 
between Upper Egypt and the Red Sea ; and in Ethiopia, above the 
second cataract, against the Wa-Waf a people of a decidedly negro 
type.^ A second Peptj surnamed Neferkera (Phiops, M.), is dis- 
tinguished by Manetho for the phenomenon of a centenarian reign. 
He came to the throne at six years of age, and reigned for 100 years 
all but a month;** but nothing else is recorded of him; only his 
monuments confirm the length of his reign by the festivals which 
he celebrated at the completion of its several periods. 

The successor of Phiops reigned but one year, and then we come to 
the one queen, whose name was read^to Herodotus among the 330 kings, 
the " rosy-cheeked " Nitocris*^ of Manetho, who also calls her "the 

43 -The monuments show two competitors against this king, whose name appears 
as Ati. 

** Either reading has the same meaning "beloved of Re (the Sun)." The full 
form of the name is Fepi-meri-ra. The title is derived from a monument on 
the road to Kosseir on the Eed Sea, exhibiting two kings, named Fepif and Maire 
or Remain seated on thrones side by side, one wearing the crown of Upper, the 
other that of Lower Egypt. At first sight we should take them for contemporary 
sovereigns ; but, as the second name appears nowhere else, and as its meaning 
is perfectly analogous to the titles which the Theban kings prefixed in a separate 
shield to that containing the phonetic characters of their own names, it seems 
most probable that this was another mode of signifying the same thing. If so, 
Fepi's is the first example of a titular preenomen among the' Egyptian kings. The 
kings of the Fourth and other early dynasties have but one shield, containing 
their names in phonetic characters. 

^ It is enough to mention, without discussing, the inference, that Nubia was at 
this time occupied by a negro population, previous to the entrance of the Cutthite 
Ethiopians from S. Arabia across the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. (See Lenormant, 
* Histoire Ancienne,' vol. 1. p. 209.) 

*^ Erastosthenes assigns 100 years to Apappta ; and the name Pepi may be 
read Apap. The Turin papyrus gives 90 years to a nameless king ; and that this 
was Pepi is confirmed by the 1 year and 1 month assigned to his successor. 

*' In Egyptian lieitakri, i.e. " Neith (Minerva) the Victorious." Her name 
is in the Turin papyrus. There is another Nitocris of the 26th Dynasty, living 


most spirited and most beautiful woman of her time." The character 
is justified, and the shortness of her predecessor's reign accounted for, 
by the legend which the priests related to Herodotus, that she 
succeeded her brother, who had been put to death by his subjects ; 
and, having invited the principal murderers to a banquet in a sub* 
terranean chamber, she let in the river upon them as they were 
feasting. Then, to escape the vengeance of their friends, she threw 
herself into an apartment full of ashes.^ 

Manetho assigns 12 years to her reign, and says that she built the 
Third Pyramid, that, namely, of Mycerinus. Now it is remarkable 
that this pyramid has been at some time enlarged, the original 
entrance having been built over by the new masonry, and a 
second entrance constructed, as if to receive a second occupant. 
Even the story, which Herodotus himself rejects, of the building of 
the Third Pyramid by the courtesan Rhodope, is an undesigned 
corroboration of its connection with Nitocris, for the Greek word 
Rhodope has the same meaning as the ''rosy-cheeked" queen of 

§ 19. With Nitocris ends the splendour of the Old Memphian 
Monarchy ; and the result of the preceding troubles is traced in the 
eclipse that settles over Egyptian history from the Sixth Dynasty to 
the Eleventh. For this interval the monuments are dumb ; or rather, 
there are no monimients to speak.^ The Seventh Dynasty, of 70 
kings in as many days, looks like an interregnum of a senate or a 
priestly college.^ To the Eighth Dynasty Manetho assigns 28 kings 
in 146 years,*'^ and that is all we know. On the hypothesis that 

about the same time as the celebrated Babylonian queen of the same name, who 
(Sir G. Wilkinson conjectures) may have been an Egyptian princess, demanded in 
marriage by the King of Babylon on his invasion of Egypt. The wife of Psam- 
metichus III. was also named Neitakri. See Rawlinson's * Herodotus,' Note to 
11. 100. 

^ Herod, ii. 100. The last part of the story, at all events, seems of foreign 
origin. Smothering in ashes was a Persian punishment, but unknown to the 

*^ Herod, ii. 134. The historical Rhodope, whose proper name was Doricha (as 
Sappho calls her) lived in Egypt in the reign of Amasis. The story of her marriage 
to Psammetiohus, under circumstances resembling the tale of Cinderella, and 
of her burial in the Third Pyramid, seems to have arisen from a double conAision 
with the two Neitakris, the ancient queen and the wife of Psammetichus III. 
(-ffilian. * Var. Hist.' xiii. 33 ; Strabo, xvii. p. 800.) 

^ The hypothesis of a foreign invasion has been suggested, on the ground that 
the comparison of the skulls found in the tombs prior to the 6th dynasty with 
those subsequent to the 11th, shows the introduction of a new element of race. 
But this is confessedly very doubtful. See Lenormant, * Histoire Anoienne,' vol. i. 
p. 211. 

^^ The reading of Eusebius (Armenian Version), 5 kings in 75 days, seems an 
arbitrary correction. Mr. Poole regards the 7th and 8th as native dynasties who 
temporarily recovered power at Memphis, at the end of the F^teenth Dyneuty, the 
first of the Shepherd Kings. 

** Or 5 kings in 100 years. — Euseb. *Chron. Arm.* 


Manetho's dynasties are in part contemporary, these shadowy dynas- 
ties seem the remnants left at Memphis of a divided empire, on the 
ruins of which new kingdoms were founded in Middle and Upper 
Egypt, probably during the troublous times of the Sixth Dynasty.*' 
The seat of the former was at Heracleopolis -^ that of the latter was 
at the new capital of Upper Egypt, which the Greeks called Thebes, 
and of which we have soon to speak more fully. 

The double conflict, which Heradeopolis must have had to 
maintain against Thebes on the one side, and the Shepherd in- 
vaders on the other, will account for the darkness of its history. 
Of the 4 kings of the Ninth Dynasty in 100 years," and the 19 
of the Tenth in 185 years, we are only told that the first, Achthoes, 
was the most atrocious of all who preceded him, and having done 
much mischief to the people of all Egypt, he went mad, and was 
killed by a crocodile. His fate looks tike a local tradition^ to 
account for the permanent hostility of the Heracleopolites to the 
crocodile, which was worshipped by their neighbours of Arsinoe in 
the Fyum, 

Considering the position of Heracleopolis, and the number of 
years assigned to its two dynasties, it seems not improbable that 
the great engineering works by which the Lake Moeris was made 
a reservoir for regulating the inundation of the Nile, were at least 
commenced during this period. "If the Fyiim was rendered 
habitable and fertile by the kings of the Heracleopolitan dynasties, 
it will be explained how it becomes of so much importance under 
the Twelfth." «« 

§ 20. In this account of the Old Memphian Monarchy, we have 
not attempted to give a single date. There is, thus far, and long 
after, no estahlished Egyptian chronology ; and, if data exist from 
which it might be constructed, the results as yet obtained are 
purely hypothetical. Various Schools of Egyptologers place the era 
of Menes as high as B.C. 5735, and as low as b.c. 2429, and that of 
the Great Pyramid at the beginning of the fifth or the second chiliad 

^ Even M. Lenormant, \rtao sees no reason to question the continuity of Manetbo's 
dynasties, speaks of an energ^etic struggle of the Theban kings of the 11th dynasty 
against the separatists of the Delta, represented by the 9th and lOfehHeracleopoUte 

^ Heracleopolis the Great is doubtless meant, since Heracleopolis Parva, in the 
Delta, is only mentioned in later times. The former (so named by the Greeks 
svfter its patron deity, whom they identified with Hercules) stood at the mouth of 
the opening f^om the valley of the Nile into the Fyiim, on an island formed by the 
Nile, the Bahr Tust^t and a canal, in a position well suited for a capital both of 
Upper and Lower Egypt. Its site is marked by the mounds about the village of 
Anasieh or Anas-el-Medinehf the Coptic Hne*. There is, however, a doubt both 
as to the fuime and rvumbers of these two dynasties. See chap. iv. § 3. 

^ 8o in EuaebiuB, * Chron. Arm.* Africanus has 19 kings in 409 years. 
'Ancient Egypt,' vol. ii. p. 156, 


B.O. All the stronger for this diversity is that body of testimony 
to the antiquity of Egyptian civilization which pUices the lowest 
date, not of its beginning, but of its perfection, in all essential ele- 
ments, at least 4000 years ago I 

The chief principles on which the construction of a chronology 
has been attempted are the following : — (i.) First, the simple 
expedient of adding together the numbers assigned by Manetho to 
his dynasties, leads us back to the sixth chiliad b.c.^ But, besides 
that the various numbers in the different texts make even this 
method inexact, it falls to the ground if any of the dynasties were 
contemporary, (ii.) A more refined and more probable system is 
based on calculations derived from the various epochs and periods 
which are known to have been used by the Egyptians, but which 
are too technical to be explained here. Following this method, 
authorities such as Sir Oardner Wilkinson, Mr. Lane, and Mr. 
Stuart Poole, place the Era of Menes at or about b.o. 2700, and that 
of the Fourth Dynasty about b.o. 2440.*" (liL) Partly in con- 
junction with the preceding method, and partly by itself, the Great 
Pyramid has been made, by astronomical calculations, to tell the 
date of its own erection. This method is too interesting to be 
passed over in silence ; but its very ingenuity is a ground of sus- 
picion. It has been mixed up with certain extraordinary theories 
about the origin and object of the Pyramid, which lie quite beyond 
our province.™ The three chief pyramids are all accurately placed 
with their four faces to the four points of the compass, a fact 
itself suggestive of the astronomical knowledge of their builders. 
Their entrance is always on the northern face, by a long sloping 
passage, the angle of which with the horizon differs but slightly 
from 30°, which is just the latitude of Jizeh. Moreover, this 
difference is almost uniform in the three pyramids, and its mean 

*' The priests told Herodotus that there had heen 341 generations, bot^ of 
king^ and high-priests, from Menes to Sethos ; and this he calculates at 11,8^0 
years. The * Long Chronology ' has been adopted with yarious modifications, by 
the most distinguished continental Egyptologers, as Bunsen, Lepsius, and Renan. 
Lepsius, in his * Letters from Egypt' (iS52} maJces the Era of Menes, b.o. 4800, 
and that of the Fourth Dynasty, b.o. 4000 ; but in his * KOnigsbuch ' he brings 
down the same dai/i% about 900 years lower, namely, b.o. 3892 and B.C. 3124. 
Bansen puts them at b.c. 8623 and b.c. 3209 respectively. 

'^ See Mr. Poole's * Hors EgyptiacsB,' and art. Egypt in the * Encycloptsdia 
Britannlca,* 9th edition. 

^ The curious in such matters are referred to the late Mr. John Taylor's work 
on *The Great Pyramid' (1859 and 1864), which is at all events worthy of tho 
ingenious author of ' Junius Identified ; ' and to Professor Piazzi Smyth's two 
books, < Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid ' (1864), and ' Life and Work at the 
Great Pyramid in 1865 ' (3 vols. 1867). The leading idea of these authors is that 
the Great Pyramid is (whether with any other purpose or not) a monument ofmBtrO" 
logical standards. But the pains-taking measurements and scienttfic authotv^.^ ^1 
the Astronomer Royal for Scotland give his work a va\v\e, -wYkiOo. \!^ ^\>SX;& SxA«^«tv- 
dent of his theory. 


gives 26° 16' for the inclination of the passage. If the angle were 
exactly 30°, the passage would point to the true North Pole of the 
heavens. But this is an invisible point, though at present marked 
very neaHy by what we therefore call the Polar Star, a in Ursa 
Minor. Owing, however, to the precession of the equinoxes, the 
true Pole, though fixed in our celestial hemisphere, is always 
changing its place among the stars ; and about 4000 years ago the 
star a Draconis was the only conspicuous star near the Pole, its 
distance from which was then just 3° 44'. Consequently, its lower 
culmination on the meridian would be 26° 16' above the horizon. 
Astronomy enables ua to calculate the exact date when these con- 
ditions were fulfilled, and that (it is argued) mvM have been the date 
of the Great Pyramid, 

By an elaborate comparison with various other data, the Astro- 
nomer Hoyal for Scotland has fixed this date within narrower limits 
than preceding inquirers — at 2170 B.C. 

The reasoning is beautiful ; and, to those who know how many 
scientific discoveries have been based on the mutual coherence of 
observed facts, it is not improbable. But the sterner spirit of criti- 
cism hesitates to accept it in the absence of some independent 
evidence that its assumed principle is true, — that the inclination 
of the entrance-passage was intended to point to the Polar star.®* On 
the whole, however, we may venture so far as to say that there is 
a concurrence of probability in favour of a date, for the Fourth 
Dynasty and the Great Pyramids, not exceeding b,o. 2000. But 
this is hypothesis, not chronology. 

The chronology of Scripture, even if thoroughly established, would 
only aid us with a maximum limit of time ; for it is agreed on all 
hands that we have not yet reached the epoch of Abraham's visit to 

*• Sir Henry James — In his valuable tract (* Notes on the Great Pyramid of 
Egypt and the Cubits used in its Design'} 1869, giving the results of the measure- 
ments of the Great Pyramid by the Ordnance surveyors in the winter of 1868-9 — 
points out that the slope of the entrance passage (a little over 26®) is just the 
" angle of rest " for such materials as the stone of the Pyramids, and therefore 
the proper inclination for enabling the sarcophagus to be easily moved, without 
letting it descend of itself. This is just as good a " sufficient reason *' as the 
astronomical theory, and equally accounts for the near agreement of the slope in 
both of the passages, and in all the chief pyramids. The exact slope in the Great 
Pyramid is 26° 23'. 

#5^01 Vu::7<^Fy?T 



j 1. SBaauiT of the Pniod. Djnutit* XL to XTII. TlH Hntam, SVr**r<l, 
■Dd mu KissdauL § I. The Xltrmtk Dr^aily. InAney oT th* ThcbM 
MoniRtaj. § S. Moniimentg or the Otenitfi ud MuMotpt. Aumm 1. 
§ 1. OnlCT of Ibe King! of tbe Tirelflh DfiiuCy. § S. Thrir rrmirry of 
E«7pt and SiuL XonnmcDti of S«ortu>a 1. § G. Auma II., kiUtd 
lij hh «uiik1u. Anbiu Rnqnoti. g r. Sbohudi III. PtototnH of 
anOBTUl. Hia ClHiqaMti and (DrlmBH In EtMopU. Hii dci&cltion. SUte of 
Ethkiu at this lime. Hit brick pjrunld it Dutaoor. § S, Ahinzhei III., 
hnOdiT of Uk Labrrintlu § 9. The Leke ll(Eri^ u dncribed hj Heiodonu. 
The natnnl lake, Sirirl-ri-XerIm, Dot thi lake Hceru. Ilie»TR7 of tbs 
latter b; K. Linaiit. § 10. Em of the Lake Moprii. Change in UK Kile bj 
Ok twaikiBg of IhenxkTbanin at SiUtu. $11. The Art oT tke TnlfLh 
Draaitj. § II. Sepulchnlgrottort of Benl-huan. Scena of life under the 
Middle XonanhT. Great lordi: their pooeniona am) fonctiana. g IS. 
Tomh ftf ^aaoai.^ Ita fUctqree and epitaph, g 14. Firat appeHrmDce of mllitvy 
eipkata and aptiTfe. Onnip of Jrtutilet, [onnerlT taken for the family if 
- Jma*. g IS. Tbe TUntmi), {Tluttm), and Fimrirtrntk (ZoTfe] DfiuaHa: 
thedr reUliaBa to ach utfair and to the Shepherd Kjnfi. g It. The Hnu^ 
or SktfJierd fH^a. Their alory aa quoted from Uanetho hj Joaephut. Abeor- 
ditj of their idmtiflntton vilh tbe Bebreva. g U. Real meaning of tbe 
nanatin. Bate of the Shepherd Kingi. g IS. Progma of the eomiuert. 
Tbcir reiatiou to tbe kingdom of Upper Egrpt. g IS. Uonomental Dian>- 
TKria. Baltea or Stl-aa-^M Ximili Iheir chief King. Vorship of the Bitlite 
god, Sttt or SaitUkX. Indieatioiu of time ud place. Importance of Tinia. 
Etj-le of the Ehepberd Xonnmenta. g 10. Adoption of Egrptiao eiutoou. 
Time of JOBXFB. g 11. Eipnlaion oT the Hjkjcs. Intereatjjig e^mtemporarx 
sanatiTe. g 13. Belitioni of Egrpt intb Fhsnicia and Greece. 

§ 1. As a key to the difficulties of tbe ensning period, it mAj be 
well to prefix the general results which seem (o be established. 
Dnring the decline and fall of the Memphian Honarch;, a new kirig- 
dcHn aroae in Upper ^Tptj oew, Rt teast, in its exteosiTe power, 
though perhaps deretoped from an old local mooarchy or viceroyalty. 
This Idagdoia is called bj Hanetho Dio^xilitan (that is, r&^») ; 
fant that captal wsa only as yet in the info&cj of its power. B^n~ 


ning with the obscure Eleventh Dynastyy this monarchy, in the 
Twelfth Dynasty, extended its power over all Egypt, and gave a 
presage of the brilliant period of the New Theban Monarchy of the 
18th and 19th Dynasties. 

About or just after the time of this dynasty, nomad hordes, pro- 
bably of Semitic race (or of Hamite and Semitic intermingled), who 
are included under the general name of Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings, 
entered the Delta from the East, whether in mere rapacity for the 
country's wealth, or pressed forward by other conquerors, or invited 
by the decayed princes of Lower Egypt to aid them against their 
Southern masters; or from a combination of these motives. Be- 
coming masters of the lower country, and fixing their capital at 
Memphis — where they appear at length to have respected the religion 
and adopted the usages, as well as the name, of the Egyptians — they 
waged long wars with the kingdom of the Thebaid. The Hyksos 
were ultimately successful ; but the continuity of the Theban 
Monarchy was never entirely broken. Sometimes, as under a part 
of the Thirteenth Dynasty, its kings took refuge in Ethiopia, and 
used the military resources of that country against the invaders; 
sometimes they seem to have become tributary to the Hyksos ; 
and so intricate were their relations that, in the various copies of 
Manetho's Lists, the 15th, 16th, and 17th dynasties figure both as 
SJiepherd and Theban, 

At the same time another native dynasty, the 14th, survived at 
Xois, in Lower Egypt, perhaps protected by the Shepherds, or' even 
coalescing with them in rivalry against Thebes. At length, by a 
great national movement, the people of Upper Egypt rallied their force 
under Amosis (or Aahmes), who expelled the Shepherds, and reunited 
all Egypt under the Eighteenth Dynasty, with its capital at Thebes.* 

§ 2. A line of demarcation is drawn by Manetho, or his copyists, 
at the end of his Eleventh Dynasty : — " Thus far Manetho brought 
his first volume, altogether 192 kings, 2300 years, 70 days." To 
this eleventh dynasty he assigns 16 Diospolitan kings in 43 years, 
" after whom Ammenemes," the immediate ancjpstor of the Twelfth 
Dynasty. The monuments confirm the view that the 12th Dynasty 
sprang from the 11th; and the line of demarcation is best drawn at 
the beginning of the Eleventh Dynasty, as the true commencement 
of the dominion of Upper Egypt. Such a line is justified by the 
monuments: — "When,*! says M. Mariette, "with the Eleventh 
Dynasty we see Egypt awake from her long sleep, the old traditions 
are forgotten. The proper names used in the old families, the titles 
given to the functionaries, the writing itself, and everything, even to 
the religion, seems to be new. Thinis> Elephantine, Memphis, are 

' The description of Thebes belongs more properly to the next chapter. 


no longer the cboeen capitals : it is Thebes which becomes, for the 
first time, the seat of the sovereign power. Egypt is, besides, dis- 
possessed of a notable part of her territx)ry, and the authority of the 
l^itimate kings no longer extends beyond a limited district of the 
Thebaid. The study of the monuments confirms these general 
views. They are rude, primitive, sometimes clumsy ; and, from 
their appearance, we might believe that Egypt, under the Eleventh 
Dynasty, was reconunencing the period of infancy through which it 
had passed under the Third." 

§ 3. Very few monuments, however, of the Middle Monarchy 
are found at Thebes. Those of the Eleventh are chiefly at 
Hermonthis, and the most remarkable of the Twelfth are about 
Lake Moeris (in the Fyum) and in the rock-hewn tombs of Bent- 
hassan, opposite to HermopoUs the Great, just where the line was 
afterwards drawn between Upper and Middle Egypt. At Hermon- 
this (Erment), a great seat of the worship of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, 
we find the monuments of several kings, all of whom have the same 
name, Nmief or Enentef, except two, who are called Mandopt or 
Mtmtotpf from Mandoo or Munty the patron god of Hermonthis.' 
It was to Muntotp I., probably the founder of this dynasty, that the 
later Theban kings traced back their origin; for in the List of 
Rameses 11. his name alone occurs between that of Menes and that 
of AahmeSj the founder of the 18th dynasty ; and he is repeatedly 
mentioned as an ancestor on the monuments of other kings of the 
18th and 19th dynasties. On a nK>nument at Silsilis we see an 
Unentef doing homage to Muntotp I. Muntotp II. is mentioned on 
a tablet cm the road to Kosseir, with Amenemes I.,* whom he may 
have established in the kingdom during his own lifetime. The Turin 
papyrus shows that Amenemes was twice deposed by other kings ; 
and several other synchronisms, too intricate for discussion here, 
confirm Manetho's mention of " ITieban and other kings." In the 
name of Amenemes, compounded as it is of Amen or Amun, the 
patrcm god of Thebes, we at length see a decisive proof of the su- 
premacy of that city ; and his name is the earliest found upon its 

§ 4. In the Twelfth Dynasty the name of Amenemes alternates 
with that oi Osirtasen, or (for the first syllable is doubtful) Sesor- 
tcuen or Sesertesen, in which we may trace the Sesostris of the Greeks, 

' Sir Gardner Wilkinson refers these kings to the IXth Dynasty ; the title of 
which (as well as of the Xth), Heracleopolit€f he supposes to he an error for 
Hermonthite^ arising from the circumstance that the names of the JEnentefa 
begin with the hieroglyphio characters which constitute the title of Hercules. 
(App. to Herod. II., ch. viii. § 12 : Rawlinson). 

' We use this, the Greek form of the name, for convenience of pronunciation. 
The hieroglyphic name is read AmenemJii or Amun-^he, Manetho's copyists 
spell it Ammenemes. 


at least as far as the name only is concerned.^ The series of kings 
has been made out satisfactorily through the correction of Manetho's 
list by the monuments : — 

Manetho, Monuments. 

1. Sesonchosis. 1. Sesortasen I. 

2. Ammenemes. 2. Amenemhe II. 

3. Sesostris. 3. Sesortasen II. 

4. Lachares. 4. Sesortasen III. 

5. Ameres. 5. Amenemhe III. 

6. Ammenemes. 6. Amenemhe IV. 

7. Skemiophris (his sister). 7. Ra-Sebeknofru. 

The names are found in their due succession, partly in the tables 
of Abydos, and partly in the Turin papyrus. 

§ 5. From the beginning of this dynasty the monarchy of Egypt 
has recovered its widest ancient limits.* The monuments of Sesor- 
tasen I. (son of Amenemes I.)' are found, not only from the Delta 
to Syene, but upwards in Nubia as far as the second cataract, on the 
tablet of Wady-hal/a; while his name, inscribed on the rocks of 
Sinai, proves the re-conquest of that peninsula and the renewed 
working of its mines. So far as the monuments are concerned, he 
may claim to rank as the founder of Thebes, for his name is seen on 
the oldest portion of the great temple of Kamak, and on a broken 
statue. Sepulchral tablets bearing his name are found in the necro- 
polis of Abydos and in that of Memphis. In Lower Egypt an obelisk 
of his is still erect at Heliopolis, and a fallen one in the FyUm is the 
first sign of the great works of his dynasty in that district. 

§ 6. Of Amenemes II. Manetho only says that he was killed by 
his own eunuchs ; ^ but a monument, of his 28th year records his 
conquests over the people of Fount, while its position at a watering- 
place on the road to Kosseir attests commercial intercourse with 
the Arabian Gulf.® This monument even indicates Egyptian con- 
quests in Arabia ; for " the Fount, with whom the kings of the 
18th and 19th dynasties were afterwards at war, were a northern 
race, being placed, on monuments at Soleb and elsewhere, with the 
Asiatic tribes. They appear to have lived in Arabia, probably in 
the southern as well as northern part ; and their tribute at Thebes, in 
the time of Thothmes III., consisted of ivory, ebony, apes, and other 
southern productions ; partly, perhaps, obtained by commerce." ® 

* Lepsias, Bunsen, &c., read the 8e : Sir G. Wilkinson adheres to the 0. 

^ This fact seems to contradict the theory which places the irraption of the 
Shepherds at or before this epoch. > Manetho. 

^ Eenrick translates cvvovxot literally " guards of the bed-chamber ** on the 
ground, maintained by Wilkinson, that the Egyptians had no eunuchs. On this 
question see * Diet, of the Bible,' art. Eunuch. 

* There is a tablet of Sesortasen II. at the same place. 

« Sir O. Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 102, RawUnson. 


§ 7. The next king, Sesobtasen II., was the greatest of this 
dynasty. In his 8th year he completed the conquests of his two 
predecessors in Ethiopia, and huilt the fortress of Semneh, some 
distance above the second cataract. Here a temple was erected to 
him, as a deified king, by his descendant, Thothmes III., aLd 
he was also worshipped as a god by Thothmes IV. at Amada, 
in Lower Ethiopia ; and one variation of his name has the epithet 
good. These divine honours were probably paid to Sesortasen II. on 
account of the vast importance of his Ethiopian conquests, in respect of 
which also he was the prototype of the Greek Sesostbis, a personage^ 
however^ made up of several kings of different dynasties and 

On these conquests Lenormant observes : " At this epoch a state 
extended beyond the First Cataract almost to the extremity of 
Abyssinia, which was to ancient Egypt what Soudan is to modem 
Egypt ; this was the Land of Cush (Kesh), or Ethiopia. Without 
well-defined limits, without unity of organisation or territory, 
Ethiopia supported numerous tribes, differing in origin and in race ; 
but the bulk of the nation was formed by the Cushites of the 
race of Ham, who had lately established themselves there since 
the time of the Sixth Egyptian Dynasty. These Cushites appear 
to have been, under the Twelfth Dynasty, the real enemies of 
Eg3rpt. It was towards Ethiopia that the forces of the nation 
were then turned ; against the tribes of Cush were raised, on both 
banks of the Nile above the second cataract, the fortresses of 
Khumneh and of Semneh, which mark the southern limit at 
which the empire of the Pharaohs then stopped." ^^ The testimony 

^ In the List of Manetho, Sesortasen II. is expressly identified with Sesostris, 
-who " was esteemed by the ^pyptians the first after Osiris." The exploits added are 
evidently copied from Herodotus by the Greek editors. Sesostris may also include 
Sesortasen I., whose name in Manetho, Seaonchosia^ seems even to point baclrwardB 
to SesochriSf the 8th king of the 2nd dynasty, and downwards to Seaonchia 
(SheaJkmk) of the 22nd. The former was a giant (Manetho) ; and such both 
Herodotus and Manetho make Sesostris. The name Seaonehoaia is also found in 
the * Scholiast to ApoUonius Rhodius ' (iy. 272), as " King of all Egypt after Horns, 
son of Isis and Osins : he conquered all Asia and the greater part of Europe : 
Herodotus calls him Seaoatria." Here is a confusion of the mythical age with 
both the 19th dynasty and 22nd dynasty; for the wider conquests of Sesostris 
answer to those of Rameses II. and his father Seti I., who was the son of Horus, 
the last of the 18th dynasty ; and the true Sesonchis (Sheshonk) was really a 
great foreign conqueror, and inscribed the palace of Kamak with the representa- 
tions of numerous sovereigns whom he had led captive. In the same spirit, 
" Dicaearchus, whom the Scholiast appears to follow, ascribes to Sesoncbosis the 
institution of castes and of the use of horses for riding — a A*esh illustration of 
the propensity to refer the origin of customs lost in immemorial antiquity to some 
eminent name." — ^Eenrick's * Ancient Egypt,' vol. ii. p. 163. On Sesostris as the 
representative of Rameses II., see the reign of that king, chap. vi. § 5. 

^ Lenormant, *Histoire Ancienne,' vol. i. p. 215. Besides the evidence of the 
inscription referred to in the text, the water-gates of both fortresses are on the 
Egyptian side of the works. (Wilkinson's note to Herod, ii. 102.). 


of an inscription at Semneh, that the frontier was thus fixed by 
Sesortasen II., accords with the statement of Herodotus, that Sesostris 
was the only (he should rather have said the first) Egyptian 
monarch that ever ruled over Ethiopia.'^ 

The monuments on the Kosseir road may justify our repeating here 
also the story which the priests told Herodotus, that Sesostris was the 
first of all who proceeded in a fleet of ships of war from the Arabian 
Gulf along the shores of the Erythraean Sea (i.e. from the Red 
Sea to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean) until he finally reached 
a, sea which could not be navigated by reason of the shoals.^* All 
else that Herodotus relates of Sesostris seems to belong to Seti I. and 
Rameses IL, of the Nineteenth Dynasty. An evidence that the 
Twelfth Dynasty recovered the power of the old monarchy is the 
burial of Sesortasen II. (or perhaps III.) in the pyramid of DashooVy 
the southernmost of the Memphian pyramids, remarkable as the 
first example of a building constructed of hricks, (It was, however, 
faced with stone.) This might connect him with the Asychis of 
Herodotus, the sage legislator, who left a brick pyran^id as his pecu- 
liar monument ; but there are several pyramids of brick." . 

§ 8. The name of Amenemes III. is associated with his father's in 
the records of their victories in Ethiopia and over the negroes, but it 
shines with a higher splendour in those of art and civilization. The 
monuments have now cleared up the riddle hidden in the words of 
Manetho : " Labaris (or Lacheres), who prepared the Labyrinth in 
the Arsinoite nome " (the Fyurn) " as a tomb for himself." The 
false name, Labaris, perpetuated by the copyists for the sake of an 
etymology of Labyrinthy and written Lamaris by Eusebius, probably 
conceals the Moei^is, whom Herodotus makes the greatest king after 
Menes, and to whom he ascribes the formation of the great lake 
named after him ; but, since meri is the Egyptian for lake, it would 
rather seem that the name of the king was invented from his work 
of engineering." But, in fact, both Labaris of the labyrinth, and 
Moeris of the mere, may now be disentangled and merged in the 
historic name of Amenemhe III., discovered by Lepsius on the ruins 
of that great palace, which the Greek traveller, bewildered as he was 
led in darkness through its countless halls and corridors, called a 
labyrinth}^ This discovery proves^ what the style of the building 


12 Herod, ii. 110. See Sir G. Wilkinson's Note on the power of Egypt in Ethiopia. 

1' Herod, ii. 102. *' This is perhaps an indication that the Egyptians, in the 
time of Herodotus, were aware of the difficulties of the navigation towards the 
mouths of the Indus." —Sir G. Wilkinson, who, however, regards " the conquests 
of Sesostris in this direction *' (Herodotus only speaks of a voyage) as pure fables. 

1* Herod, ii. 136. See Sir G. Wilkinson's Note, in Rawlinson's translation. 

^ The other Egyptian name of the lake, pi-om (the sea), is preserved in the 
modern FyUm, the province in which it lies. 

^ This passage of Herodotus affords the earliest known example of the use of 


attests^ the great mistake of Herodotus in assigning the edifice to 
the much later age of the Dodecarchy. From his own observation 
he declares that the Pyramids surpass description, and are severally 
equal to a number of the greatest works of the Greeks ; but the 
Labyrinth surpasses the Pyramids." 

§ 9. ** ViT'onderful as is the Labyrinth,** Herodotus goes on to say, 
" the work called the Lake of Moeris, which is close by the Labyrinth, 
is yet more astonishing." " And with good reason ; for in utility 
it excelled the Labyrinth as much as the works on the channel of 
the Nile, ascribed to Menes, excelled the Pyramids. He gives its 
circuit as 60 schceni, or 3600 stadia (360 geographical miles), equal 
to the entire length of Egypt along the sea-coast.^ Its longest 
direction was from north to south, and its greatest depth 50 fathoms. 
" It is manifestly," he adds, '* an artificial excavation, for nearly in 
the centre there stand two pyramids, rising to the height of 50 
fathoms above the surface of the water, and extending as far beneath, 
crowned each of them with a colossal statue sitting upon a throne. 
Thus the whole height is 600 feet " (which is one fourth higher than 
the Great Pyramid). " The water of the lake does not come out of 
the ground, which is here excessively dry,** but is introduced by a 
canal from the Nile. The current sets for six months from the 
lake into the river, and for the next six months from the river 
into the lake ** — that is, evidently, according to the rise and ebb of 
the inundation. Till very recently, this account was as great a 
puzzle as the origin of the lake itself was to the ancients. 

In describing the country of Egypt, we have mentioned the 
position of the great valley, or basin, called in the Ptolemaic age the 
Nome of Arsinoe, and in modern times the Fyum. It is formed by 
ft depression in the limestone plateau which here intersects the valley 
of the Nile transversely, and is enclosed on the North and South by 
ridges of natural rocks. The bottom of the valley sinks on the 
north-western side ; and this depression is filled up by the lake 
called Birket-elnKerun^ the water of which is supplied partly by 
springs, and partly by an artificial branch of the Yusuf canal, which 
connects it with the Nile. This lake is now 30 miles long and 7 
broad ; its greatest depth is only 24 feet, and it is gradually becoming 
shallower from the mud brought into it by the canals. Its level is 

the word Xa/3vpiv0o«, bat it is clearly not an Egyptian -word. It is probably con- 
nected etymologically with Aavpa, an alley, 

^^ Herod, ii. 148. Comp. c. ix. § 13. w Herod, ii. 149. 

^* The manifest exaggeration may be explained, at least in part, by the suppo- 
sition that the visit of Herodotus was at the time of the inundation, when the 
whole valley was under water, and the natural lake was united with the artificial 

^ The whole valley of the Nile is almost destitute of springs ; but there are 
some in the Birket'el-Keriin, 


inconsistent with Herodotus's acconnt of the inflnx and efflux of the 
Nile, the bed of which was then much lower. In short this natural 
lake (for such it unquestionably is) was not the Lake Moeris, which 
had vanished even in Pliny's time.*^ The site of the artificial lake 
has been recently discovered by M. Linant, on the limestone plateau 
between the Birket-el-Kerun and the river, near Medinet-el-Fyum, 
the ancient Crocodilopolis. It has long formed part of the culti- 
vated plain of the Fyum^ which is still irrigated from "a small 
reservoir at the modem town, a very humble imitation of the Lake 
Moeris/' ^ 

§ 10. The function of the ancient lake, however, was far more 
extensive ; it evidently formed a reservoir for regulating the inunda- 
tion over a considerable part of the valley of the Nile, and recent 
discoveries on this point have added a strong argument for its date 
to the presimiption raised by its connection with the labyrinth. In 
remote ages, the hills which border the valley of the Nile approached 
so close to one another at some points, as either to form lakes, or at 
least to dam up the waters of the inundation in certain parts, till the 
river forced its way through the barrier of rocks. Such a barrier 
once existed at Silsilis {Hadjar Selseleh), some 40 miles below the 
first cataract.^ The effect of this, in spreading the water of the 
inundation over the now barren plains of Nubia, is still seen in 
ancient alluvial deposits, which reach northwards as far as Silsilis, 
and in water-worn rocks at a considerable distance from the river. 
But this is not all : we can determine the historic period within 
which the barrier was broken down. On the rocks at Semneh, 
inscriptions of Amenemes III, and other kings of the Twelfth 
Dynasty, shew that the inundation then reached 27 feet above 
its present height; while on the other hand, the foundations of 
buildings on the old deposit, and the caves in the rocks near 
the Nile, prove that the lower level was permanently established 
by the time of the Eighteenth Dynasty. What period, then, could 
be so suited for the construction of the Lake Moeris as that in 
which these mighty changes were affecting the regularity of the 
inundation, and what kings so likely to do the work as thos^ who 
were then erecting gigantic buildings in the neighbourhood of the 

21 As is proved by the word fuit. Plin. v. 9, s. 9. Of coarse, however, from 
the nature of the case, the natural lake would have some connection with the arti- 
ficial basin, and would be used as a second reservoir. 

22 Sir G. Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 148, Rawlinson. 

23 By a coincidence not unusual in names, silaili is the Arabic for a chain ; and 
there is a tradition that a king at one time threw a chain across the channel, 
which is here only 1095 feet broad. Wilkinson thinks that the ancient name re- 
presents the Ck>ptic Qolgel^ an earthquake^ as the supposed cause of the catastrophe, 
or Oolgolf alluding to the many channels of the cataracts, or to the breaking away 
of the rocks at the time of the fall of the barrier. (Appendix to Herod, ii. chap. 4, 
§ 4 ; Eawlinson.) 


lake? These were Amenemes ni. and his successors. But it must 
be ohserved that the name of this king gives us only an uptoard 
limit ; and among the inscriptions at Semneh, some are now said 
to bring down the period of the river's higher rise into the 
Thirteenth Dynasty.** 

The want of any particulars concerning Ahenemes IY. and his 
sister Skemiophbis (or Sebekno/ru, whom some make a king) is 
perhaps a sign that the dynasty was beginning to suffer from the 
attacks of the Shepherds. 

§ 11. Besides the ruins of the Labyrinth, the principal remains of 
art of the 12th dynasty are the two obelisks of Osirtasen I. at 
Heliopolis and in the Fyum, and some fine fragments of colossal 
statues ; among them one of the same king found at Thebes. The 
style of the sculpture is scarcely inferior to the finest works of the 
18th and 19th dynasties. The realistic freedom of the primitive 
school has yielded to the hieratic canons which henceforth prevail ; 
but traces of i*^ are seen in the powerful rendering of the muscles of 
the arms and legs. The distinctive excellences of this period are 
harmony of proportions and delicacy of execution in the most 
refractory materials. The mode in which the colossal statues were 
transported on a sledge is represented in a tomb near JEl-Bershehr. 

§ 12. In architecture we have the remarkable phenomenon of 
oolunms, which seem to furnish the prototype of the Doric order.** 
This occurs in the rock-hewn frontispiece to the sepulchral grottoes 
at Beni-JuMsan (the ancient Specs Artemidos, Cave of Artemis or 
Diana) on the east side of the Nile, opposite to Hermopolis 
Magna.** Within those caverns are preserved pictures of life under 
the Middle Monarchy, as vivid and instructive as those of the Old 
Monarchy which we have seen in the Memphian tombs : — ** Egypt 
caught in the fact,*' says Renan. '* The actors therein are still, 
in their leading characteristics, the same people as under the fourth 
dynasty, or at least their literal descendants. All the occupations, 
manners, or customs, represented of old in the tombs around the 
Great Pyramid, are represented in those of Beni-hassan ; there are 
the same toiling multitude, the same official system of scribes, 
overseers, and taskmasters, and the same feasting according to order. 
Something, indeed, of the gloomy sameness is gone ; manufjactures 
now compete with agricultural operations ; the plough drawn by 
oxen dispenses with many sheep treading the seed into the soft 
mud ; the cultivation of the vine, and the process of wine-making, 

^ We can only just allude to the ingenious suggestion which connects the 
eatastrophe at Silsilis with the seven years' plenty and seven years' famine in the 
time of Joseph. (See Piazzi Smyth, * Life and Work,' ftc., vol. iiL pp. 410-413.) 

^ The prototype of the Ionic has been found in Assyria. 

* Also in a similar position at Kalabtche in Nubia. 


diversify the scenes ; flax may be traced througli its several stages, — 
men reaping it in th^ fields, and women weaving its fibres indoors. 
But there sits the great man still in colossal grandeur and unbending 
severity, overlooking the busy hive, every one of whose human bees 
is working for his benefit. And he still enjoys his field-sports 
much as his ancestors did before him, but with a variation ; for 
now the ropes of the clap-nets are led by ingenious devices to his 
bands, as he sits far away on an easy-chair, so that he may have 
the honour, by giving a little pull to the trigger, of appearing to 
have caught all the birds himself. Or, if his designs are against 
four-footed game, as the graceful antelopes of the desert — no longer 
content with taking them alive and taming them — he pursues 
them now cruelly, both tearing them with dogs and transfixing 
them with long arrows ; whence some most touching pictures of a 
poor gazelle turning round in pain to lick the place where one of 
these darts is sticking in its flesh, and even protruding through the 
opposite side of its body ; or another that has fallen lifeless on its 
tender offspring. 

" Very great lords are still the many chiefs who ruled over the 
people, under the king ; one of them records his estates and privi- 
leges*; first, the range of the eastern desert and its oasis, for his 
antelope-bunting ; and of the hinder and nether pools for his bird- 
catching; second, the land of Haophis, or a track near the 
mouth of the Fyfim, iind a sluice in the eastern bank of the canal 
to water it ; third, the land of the Hawk mountain, and another 
sluice from the canal of the Fy(im ; foiurth, the land of the two 
streams, or a narrow slip of ground between the canal and the Nile, 
together with a license for enlarging the sluices from both, so as to 
irrigate the fields to the extent prescribed in the sacred book for the 
growth of the plant dsut ; and the fifth, the land of the hare, with 
a permit to construct two sluices on the Nile.^^ But. this chief is 
described as holding honourable offices both in church and state ; 
being, first, the custos of the divine stable of the sacred bull ; 
second, the constable of the palace of the King Amenemes ; and, . 
third, steward of the land-tax for the support of the schools of the 
sons of the kings of Lower Egypt."'* 

§ 13. Thus it is, as M. Kenan observes, that, in these tombs, '* the 
dead lifts up his voice and relates his life." Perhaps the most inter- 
esting of these two-fold utterances is that which we both see and 
read on the tomb of another great functionary of this highly-ad- 
ministered monarchy, whose name was Ameni, On one wall we see 

'^ All these ** water-privUegee" euggest the age of the lake Moeris. 

^ Piazzi Smyth, * Life and Work,' &o., vol. iii. pp. 403-4. Since it is clear 
that the 12th dynasty were not " Kings of Lower Egfypt," exclusively, it would 
seem to follow that there were such kings under their protection. 


the fjEtt oxen grazing, and the sheaves of wheat carried in carts of 
the very model still used hy the Fellahs of Egypt, and threshed out 
by the feet of oxen ; on another is depicted the navigation of the 
Nile ; the building and lading of large ships ; the fashioning of 
el^ant furniture from costly woods ; and the preparation of gar- 
ments: in a word, the scenes of busy husbandry and navigation, 
commerce and handicrafts. These pictures are interpreted by 
Ameni himself in a long inscription. As a general, he made a 
campaign in Ethiopia, and was charged with the protection of 
the caravans, which transported the gold of Jebd-Atoky across the 
desert to Goptos. As the governor of a province, he recites the 
praises of his administration: — "All the lands under me were 
ploughed and sown from n(»:th to south. Thanks were given to 
me on behalf of the royal house for the tribute of fat cattle which I 
collected. Nothing was ever stolen out of my workshops ; I worked 
myself and kept the whole province at work. Never was a child 
afflicted, never a widow ill-treated by me ; never did I disturb the 
fisherman, or molest the i^epherd. Famine never occurred in my 
time, nor did I let any one hunger in years of short produce. I 
have given equally to the widow and the married woman ; and I have 
not preferred the great to the small in the judgments I have given." 

§ 14. Now, for the first time too, the military element begins to 
appear upon the tombs ; " and in vaults beneath some of them, and 
not yet discovered, are deposited the mummies (so the hieroglyphics 
tell us) of many himdred soldiers who had fallen in the wars of 
King Sesortosis against the black Gushites in Nubia. Prisoners, 
moreover, are brought back from these campaigns, and account for 
the negro slaves now occasionally seen in the great man's house- 
hold ; while under previous dynasties, we had met with no closer 
acquaintance with southern lands than the unpacking of a box con- 
taining elephant's tusks. At the same time, however, <dher per- 
sonages now appear on the scene, sometimes singly, sometimes in 
groups ; men of aquiline features, brighter colour than, and different 
dress from, the Egyptians ; immigrants from Arabia and Pale»- 

One such picture at Beni-hassan startled the world some years 
back by its supposed discovery of the arrival cfJa^oob and his family 
in Egypt, and their presentation to Pharaoh, It is on the tomb of 
a man of the military caste named Neoofth ; and depicts the pre- 
sentation of a procession of foreigners to a standing figure, whom 
some make the son of Neoofth, and others the King Sesortasen II. 
They are preceded by a royal scribe, holding forth a scroll inscribed 
with the 6th year of Sesortasen II., and declaring that they are 37 

» Piaezi Smyth, /. c, p. 405. 


vanquished foreigners ; though only 12 adults and 3 children are 
seen, all unbound. The king of the strangers advances, bowing 
reverently, and leading an ibex by the horns ; he wears a tunic of 
bright colours and elaborate pattern, and carries a curved staff 
resembling that of Osiris. A man of humbler rank leads another 
ibex. Then, preceded by four armed men, comes an ass, carrying 
two children in a pannier ; next, a boy on foot, armed with a lance, 
precedes four females, who are followed by another ass with panniers ; 
and the procession is closed by two men, one of whom carries a lyre 
and plectrum, the other a bow and club. Their light complexion 
and aquiline noses shew a Semitic race from a more northern climate 
than Egypt ; and the gift of the ibex implies a pastoral tribe from 
Arabia or Palestine.*' The inscription has been read by Mr. Osbum, 
as a group of 37 Jebusite^, purchased for slaves by one of their petty 
kings, and presented by the chief Neoofth to King Sesortasen II. iu 
the 6th year of his reign, on account of their skill in preparing 
stibium, a black powder produced from antimony, and used profusely 
throughout ancient Egypt as a cosmetic.'^ It is scarcely, perhaps, 
necessary to remind the student of Scripture that the Jebusites, or 
Canaanite people of Jerusalem, were a race alien to that of the 
Hebrew patriarchs. 

§ 15. After the Twelfth Dynasty comes a period of great obscurity, 
the darkness of the Middle Age of Egypt, preceding the splendid 
dawn of the New Theban Monarchy under the Eighteenth Dynasty. 
At this time, it is confessed on all hands, the dynasties of Manetho 
become contemporary ; but very different interpretations are given of 
their names, localities, and relations to each other. 

The Thirteenth Dynasty, of 60 Diospolitan kings, reigned 453 
years, and the Fourteenth Dynasty, of 76 Xoite kings (that is, of 
Xois, in the Delta), reigned 184 years : ^ this is all we learn from 
Manetho, but we find numerous monuments in Ethiopia, which are 
ascribed to the former dynasty ; and the generally received view is 
that, under the domination of the Eyksos, the native Theban line 
took refuge in Ethiopia, which the preceding dynasty had conquered; 
while the rival dynasty of Lower Egypt, which had never abandoned 
its pretensions, held some local power at Xois, either in defiance, or 
under the protection, of the Hyksos. But there is another opinion, 
that the earlier kings of the 13th dynasty retained the power of the 

^ Mr. Eenrick, whose description we follow in the main, compares Isaiah 
Ix. 7. " The rams of Nehaioth shall minister jinto thee.'* — * Ancient Egypt,* 
vol. ii. p. 169. 

^ Oshnrn, * Egypt, her Testimony to the Truth of the Bihle,* pp. 88, 39. The 
labours of this painstaking author have not been sufficiently recognised by the 

^ Or 484 years : the Armenian * Chronicle * of Eusebius has 434 ; evidently 
making the 13th and 14th Dynasties nearly contemporary. 


12th over all Egypt ; but that the Xo'ite Dynasty was set up against 
them in the Delta, and that the invasion of the Uy ksos was brought 
about by these dissensions. 

It is argued on the one hand, that the monuments found at Tanis, 
as well as at Abydos, of several kings who all bear the names ofSevek- 
hotep or Nofrehotep, belong to this dynasty ; and on the other, the 
name Sevekhotep (Sab<zco)y which characterises the Ethiopian kings 
of the 25th Dynasty, is pleaded as a sign of the Ethiopian seat of 
the ISth.*^ At all events the principal monuments of this dynasty 
are in Ethiopia, where a colossus at the island of Argo, in Dongola, 
shows that their power reached far beyond the old frontier at 
Semneh, and above the Third Cataract ; and there are no monuments 
whatever of the later kings, whose names are only known from the 
royal lists. It may be safely concluded that the conquest of the 
Thebaid by the so-called " Hyksos " or " Shepherd Kings " was com- 
pleted in the course of the 13th dynasty, if not at its beginning. Of 
the Xo'ite kings we have no monuments whatever ; and even the 
locality of Xois is uncertain.^ 

§ 16. The great catastrophe of the kingdom of Egypt, brought about 
by the invasion of the Hyksos, is related in one of the few extant 
fragments of the History of Manetho, a fragment preserved by the 
strange ambition of the Jewish historian, Josephus, to glorify his 
nation by identifying the conquering hordes, whom the Egyptians 
at length expelled, with the chosen people who were led forth in 
triumph by the power of God and the hand of Moses ! It is the 
answer of Josephus to the taunt of his antagonist Philo on the mean 
origin of the Jews ; and the narrative of Manetho has evidently 
been tampered within some points to suit this purpose. As it stands, 
the following is the passage cited by Josephus from the Second Book 
of Manetho's * ^gyptiaca * : ss « w'e had once a king named Timasus 
(or Amintimasus), under whom, from some cause unknown to me, 
the Deity was unfavourable to us ; and there came unexpectedly, 

» Sir Gardner Wilkinson finds in the Sabacos of the 13th dynasty the "18 
Ethiopian kings'* of the list which the priests read to Herodotus (Herod, ii. 100 : 
see note by Q. W. in Rawlinson). He also makes their flight into Ethiopia 
the origin of Manetho's story of the similar flight of Amenophis III. of the 
Eighteenth Dynasty. The colossus of that king, in rose-coloured g^nite, now in 
the Louvre, is referred by some Egyptian antiquaries, from its style, to the 13th 
dynasty, and supposed to have been adopted by Amenophis as his own. Such 
appropriations are not uncommon in all ages. 

** ChampoUion placed it at Sakkra or Sakhn^ the Arabic synonym of the Coptic 
Xeos and the old Aegyptian Skhoo : its position, on an island formed by the 
Sebennytic and Phatnitic branches of the Nile, defended by the marshes, would 
enable it to hold out long against the Hyksos, or to come to terms by paying them 
tribute. So, in later times, Anysis and Inarus long held out in the marshes 
against the Ethiopian and Persian masters of Egypt. 

** Joseph, contra * Apion,' i. 14. We mark some of the most important points 
in italics. The translation is, in the main, Mr. Kenrick's. 



from the eastern parts, a race of obscure extracttofi, who boldly 
invaded the country and easily took forcible possession of it without 
a battle. Having subdued those who commanded in it, they pro- 
ceeded savagely to bum the cities, and razed the temples of the gods ; 
inhumanly treating all the natives ; murdering some, and carrying 
the wives and children of others into slavery. ^ In the end they also 
established one of themselves as a king, whose name was Salatis (Saites 
in the list) ; and he took up his abode at Memphis, exacting tribute 
from both the upper and the lower country, and leaving garrisons 
in the most suitable places. He especially strengthened the parts 
towards the east, foreseeing that on the part of the Assyrians, who 
were then powerftd, there would be a desire to invade their kingdom. 
Finding therefore in the Sethroite nome a city very conveniently 
placed, lying eastward of the Bubastic river, and called from some 
old religious reason Avaris (or Abaris), he built it up and made it 
very strong with walls, settling there also a great number of heavy- 
armed soldiers, to the amount of 240,000 men, for a guard. Hither 
he used to come in the sunmier season, partly to distribute the 
rations of com and pay the troops, partly to exercise them carefully 
by musters and reviews, in order to inspire fear into foreign nations." 
After enumerating the five successors of this first king, be proceeds : 
" Their whole nation was called Hykbos, that is, Shepherd Kings ; 
for ffyk in the sacred language denotes King, and Sos is a shepherd 
in the common dialect.^ The before-named kings, he says, and 
their descendants, were* masters of Egypt for 511 years. After this, 
he says that a revolt of the kings of the Thehaid and the rest of 
Egypt took place against the Shepherds, and a great and prolonged 
war was carried on with them. Under a king whose name was 
Misphragmuthosis^ he says that the Shepherds were expelled by 
him from the rest of Egypt after a defeat, and shut up in a place 
having a circuit of 10,000 aruras. This place was called Avaris, 

^ Josephus here interpolates a statement, which he presently rex>eat8, troxa 
another copy, or another book, of Manetho, evidently to get rid of the objection, 
that the Hebrews were not kingSt but ala/ves. He says that Hyk or Hah, with the 
aspirate, means Captwe»t and so Hyksos is captive-shepherds ; adding, " And he 
(Manetho) says rightly ; for the keeping of sheep was the ancient habit of our 
forefathers ; and they were not unnaturally described as cop^tresby the Egyptians, 
since our forefather Joseph declares himself to the King of the Egyptians to be a 
captive.'* As to the true meaning, Wilkinson says that hyk is the common title, 
signifying king or ruler ^ given even to the Pharaohs on the monuments, and shos 
signifies shepherd. But shaso means Arahs^ and hyk seems cognate to sheik ; so 
that the name may perhaps signify Arab kings or sheiks. This view becomes 
more probable if, as some say, htik denotes, on the monuments, the chiefs of 
Semitic tribes. The invaders are designated on the monuments Mena or Amu, i.e. 
** shepherds of oxen^" and Aadu, " detested.** 

>^ Tbis name, which occurs again in the list of the 18th dynasty, seems to be 
for Miphra Thouthmosis^ i.e. "Thothmes beloved of Phra (or Ra)." The true 
founder of the 18th dynasty was not a Thothmes but Amasis ; but, as the war was 
ong, Thotmes I. 'the Srd king) may have finished it. 


Manetho says that the Shepherds surroanded it entirely with a 
large and strong wall, in order that they might have a secure deposit 
for all their possessions and all their plunder. Thuthmo6ifl^ 
the son of Misphragmuthoeis, endeavoured to take the place by siege, 
attacking the walls with 480,000 men. Despairing of taking it by 
siege, he made a treaty with them, that they should leave Egypt, 
and withdraw without injury whithersoever they pleased; and, 
in virtue of this agreement, they withdrew from Egypt, with all 
their families and possessions, to the number of not fewer than 
240,000, and traversed the desert into Syria, Fearing the power 
of the Assyrians^ who were at that time masters of Asia, they 
huHt a city in that which is now called Judaea, which should 
suffice for so many myriads of men, and called it Jerusalem.** 

It will be observed that, in the words quoted from Manetho, 
there is nothing to identify, or even to connect, the Hyksos with 
the Hebrews; for the words "our forefathers'* are put in by 
Josephus. They come indeed from the East, and they retreat 
into Palestine ; but every other circumstance of their entrance into 
Egypt, their conduct and condition there, and their final retreat, 
is totally opposite to the true biblical history of ^ Israel in Egypt." 
Even the startling mention of Jerusalem is an argument against the 
identity, for that city belonged to the Ca/naanite Jebusites for some 
time after the entrance of Israel into the Holy Land. 

§ 17. The only likeness of the Hyksos to the Hebrews is their 
occupation as shepherds, and (probably) their Semitic race. They 
were a nomad pastoral horde, like those which have ever been 
descending upon the rich settled countries of the East for the sake 
of plunder. They ravage all before them, with religious hatred;, 
as is attested by the ruins of Memphis and the demolished menu* 
ments of the twelfth dynasty at Thebes ;** and they collect their 
plunder into a great fortified city. That fortress, moreover, is esta- 
blished near the eastern frontier, against the constantly threatened 
attacks of a powerful enemy, who is expressly named. That enemy, 
Assyria^ is the master <^ Asia, both when the shepherds enter 
Egypt, and when they depart; and the inference seems almost 
irredstible, that, as most great movements of nomad tribes are due to 
pressure from behind, the Shepherd invasion of Egypt was due to 
the growth of the Assyrian empire. But which Assyrian empire ? — 
for the term Assyrian, in Greek writers, includes the old obscure 
ChaldsBan monarchy, and the Assyrian properly so called. An 
answer to this question has been sought in the name FhaenicianJ^ 
which is applied in the List of Manetho to the same kings who are 

** Of all the temides prior to this time, but one is left standing. 
** But it is possible that the name may be only used in its Greek meaning of 
rtd, as opposed to the swarthy Egyptians. ^ 

E 2 


enumerated in his text, as quoted by Josephus ; and the entrance of 
the Hyksos into Egypt has been connected with that great Phoe- 
nician migration of which we have to speak in its proper place. 
The latest view derived from recent monumental discoveries is that 
the Hamite Canaanites, who had recently entered the land of 
Canaan/^ as a part of the great migration referred to, pressed forward 
into Egypt at the head of a mixed horde of nomads, of whom the 
chief tribe appears to have been the Kheta so often named on the 
Theban monuments, the Hittites of the Bible. 

} 18. Entering the country from the side of Arabia and Palestine, 
they first subdued Lower Egypt, and fixed their capital at Memphis. 
The statement, that this was effected without a battle, is best ex-' 
plained by a confederacy with the native powers of Lower Egypt, 
who had risen against the Theban Dynasty.^* The latter was unable 
to resist the coalition of its enemies, and the Shepherd King who 
consolidated the power of his dynasty received tribute from Upper 
as well as Lower Egypt. But, when we come to details, the diffi- 
culty of tracing the relations between the several parties may 
be judged from Manetho's lists of the 15th, 16th, and 17th dynasties, 
which fall within the period of the Hyksos. A comparison of the 
ordinary text (of Africanus and Syncellus) with that of Eusebius 
gives the following curious results : — 

Ordinary Text. Years. Suid)iut, Years. 

15th Dynasty ... Of Shepherds: 6 foreign Diospolitan Kings ... 250 

Phoenician Kings ... 248 

leth Dynasty ... 80 other Shepherd Kings 518 5 Theban Kings 190 

17th Dynasty ... 43 other Shepherd Kings Foreign Phoenician Shep- 

and 43 Theban Dios- herd Kings 103 

poUtes. Together they 

reigned 151 

Moreover, the names and remarks given in the 16th dynasty of 
the ordinary text are the same (as far as they go) as those of the 
17th in Eusebius, whom Syncellus censures for the transposition.^' 

40 *t The Canaanite was then (already, recently) in the land." Genesis, xii. 6. 
Among the synchronisms now generally received is that of Abraham with the time 
of the Twelfth Dynasty. 

*^ Osbum and some others go so far as to reject a Shepherd Kingdom't^together ; 
making the immigrants the auxiliary allies, and not the conquerors, of the native 
Djmasty of l^ower Egypt, on which the ultimately victorious. Thebans fastened, 
from this alliance, the hateful name of Shepherds.* But this view can hardly be 
pressed into consistency with Manetho and the monuments. 

*^ The following comparison is instructive as showing what distortions the lists 
of Manetho have suffered, and consequently how little dependence can be placed on 
them when unconfirmed by the monuments : — [Shepherd Kings. 

* " Every shepherd Is an abomination to the Egyptians " (Gen. xlvi. 34 ; eomp. 
xliii. 32), a feeling of caste, we think, much older than the Shepherd Kings. If 
derived from hatred of them, it would surely not have been felt hy them ; but, if 
older, its being felt by the Egyptianized nomads towards strangers whose actual 
occupation was pastoral, is a proof (as is every part of Joseph*! story) of their 
thorough adoption of Egyptian ideas and usages. 

Chap. IV. AVARIS = TANIS = ZOAN. 77 

Of the other dynasties no names are given ; and the exact corre- 
spondence of " 43 Shepherd Kings," and " 43 Theban Diospolites," 
in the same dynasty, is manifestly artificial. Thus much, however, 
we may safely infer : that the continuity of the Theban Monarchy 
was never entirely broken during the Shepherd rule, though it was 
probably reduced to a tributary condition in Upper Egypt, while 
Lower and Middle Egypt were ruled by the Shepherd Kings in 

§ 19. Tt is only of late that light has been thrown on this period 
by the monuments ; and very important light it is. The first Shep- 
herd king, Saites, or, in Egyptian, Set-cta-pehti Nouhti, is mentioned 
on a tablet of Kameses II., found at Tanis, as having, 400 years 
before, rebuilt the city, and reared in it the temple of Set or SotUekh, 
the national god of the Khetaa (Hittites). This- is invaluable testi- 
mony in respect to time, place, nationality^ and religion. The fabu- 
lous length of the Shepherd domination is reduced within reasonable 
limits;^ for, by a very probable computation, 400 years before 
Barneses II. would leave only about 200 years for the whole 
Shepherd rule, and would bring the date of King Saites to about 
the 18th century.** 

Next, as to the place. The Avaris of the Shepherds has been 
usually identified with Pelusium, on the eastern side of the Pelusiac 
mouth of the Nile, which was the frontier fortress of later times ; but 
the discoveries of M. Mariette have proved it to be Tanis (/San). 
The inscription says that the Shepherd King rebuilt Tanis ; Manetho 
says that the Shepherds found Avaris an old town and built up its 
walls ; we have the testimony of Scripture to the high antiquity of 
Zoan (the Greek Tanis and the Coptic 8a7i): at this city the 
Pharaoh of the Exodus held his court, when " God wrought his 
wonders in the field of Zoan ;" ** and this city, not Memphis, is the 
seat of the dynasty that succeeded the great Theban Empire (the 
21st), as well as of the 23rd. All these indications point to the eleva- 
tion of Tanis by the Shepherd Kings to a rank above Memphis, 
which seems never to have recovered from their devastation. Now 
it is also at Tanis that we find the chief monuments of the Shepherd 
Kings ; and those monuments are as thoroughly Egyptian as are 

nth Dyn. ofPhcm. Sheph. 

( Cuaebius). 

1. SaTtes 19 

2. Bnon 40 

3. Aphophis . . . . 14 

4. Archies . . . . 30 

^ This particular example throws a strong light on the general chronological 
exaggeration of the Egyptian traditions. *^ See chapter vi. 

^ Psalm IxxTiii. 48. On the identity of Tanis and Avaris, and the meaning 
of the latter name, see ftirther in chap. vii. $ 2. 

Shepherd Kings. 

15th Dyn. pf Shepherds. 

(Manetho in Josephos), 

(Manetho's List). 

1. Salatis .. .. 19 

1. Saites 19 

8. Bnon (! Anon) . . 44 

2. Bnon ( ! Anon) . . 44 

8. Apachnas .. .. 86 

8. Pachnan . . . . 61 

4. Apophis .. .. 61 

4. Staan .. .. 50 

5. Jannas .. .. 51 

5. Archies .. .. 49 

6. Asses 49 

6. Aphobis .. .. 61 


those of the Ptolemies of later times. Nay, their art is finer, their 
workmanship more delicate and more perfect, than in the contem- 
porary monument of Thehes; and they are in perfect accordance 
with the Egyptian religion. It seems from the discoveries made at 
Tanis that the Shepherd Kings set up again the statues of former 
ages, helonging to the temples overthrown in the first violence of 
their invasion, only carving their own names upon them as dedi- 
cators. Their monuments are entirely of sculpture, none of archi- 
tecture: all yet found are in the museum at Cairo. There is a 
splendid group in granite, representing two persons in Egyptian 
costume, but with the thick beard and large locks of hair foreign to 
Egyptian use. There are four sphinxes in diorite, bearing the name 
of Apepi *^ (the Aphophis of Manetho) ; but with the lion's mane in 
place of the regular Egyptian head-dress. In a word, these sculp- 
tures represent the type of a Semitic race. 

§ 20. The monuments prove how completely the Shepherd Kings 
became true Pharaohs. As is usual when a wilder race subdues a 
•more civilised people, without exterminating them wholly or in part» 
they and their followers were assimilated to the conquered nation. 
Though they intruded their god. Set or Soutekh (the Egyptian name 
of Baal), into the Egyptian Pantheon, and built his temple beside 
the temples of the old gods, they gave the latter the supreme place. 
They and their followers adopted the manners of their new country, 
mixed with some Semitic usages. 

Now this is precisely the state iui which the narrative of 
Genesis depicts Egypt under the Pharaoh whom Joseph served. 
The King and his people are " Egyptians,** both in name and customs, 
and yet they have some characters of a foreign race. Such are their 
cordial reception of strangers, whom the Egyptians hated and 
despised ; and the pure despotism of Joseph's Pharaoh, whose will is 
absolute, and who reduces the Egyptians to serfdom, whereas the 
native monarchs were restrained by law, and set a high value on the 
attachment of their subjects. A Semitic ruler would be much more 
likely than a native king to make a Hebrew slave prime minister, in 
contempt of the objections which the people dared not utter ; and 
the policy of Joseph would be more easily enforced on a conquered 

And here the contemporary monuments reveal a most striking 
coincidence. The only names of the contemporary Theban kings, as 
yet made out, are those of the last two before the founder of the 
Eighteenth Dynasty. They are Tiaaken and Karnes ; and the last 
bears the title of "nourisher of the world," written in the very 

4« The Turin papyrus has the name of Anouh, which corresponds to the Anon 

of Manetho (an emendation for Bnon), followed hy a name beginning Ap 

which may be Manetho's Apaohnoi, 


same form, Tsaf-en-^o, as the title (in Hebrew Zaphnatk) wliicb was 
conferred on Joseph by Pharaoh.*^ Is this a mere coincidence, or 
did the Theban king adopt the title in rivalry with* the Memphian 
government, or does he assume tJie merit of the policy which he had 
to administer ? That policy would, at all events, be sure to aggra- 
vate the hatred of the subject Thebans ; and the oppression of Israel 
may have been, in part at least, a retaliation, when the power was 
recovered by the " King who knew not Joseph." All these things, 
as well as the indications of time and place already pointed out, tend 
to confirm the express statement made in a fragment of Manetho, t?iat 
Joseph was brought into Egypt under the Shepherd King Aphophis, 
— the Apepiy whose monuments are by far the most numerous of this 
dynasty.*® The invitation of Semitic settlers was a natural act of 
policy on the part of the Shepherds, to strengthen themselves against 
a native rising. On this point there is now a general consent among 
Egyptologers ; and thus we find what has generally been esteemed 
the " Egyptian darkness " of the country's early history, emerging 
into the light and life of Scripture ; and in its turn helping to weave 
the fragmentary allusions of Scripture into the web of general histoiy. 
§ 21. The expulsion of the Hyksos is related, not only in the 
passage quoted from Manetho by Josephus, but in contemporary 
Egyptian records. An invaluable papyrus in the British Museum 
b^ns with a description of the vassalage of the Theban Dynasty : 
" Now it came to pass that the land of Egypt fell into the hands of 
enemies; and there was no longer any king {i.e. of the whole 
country) at the time when this happened. And it was so, that 
the king Tiaaken was only a hak (vassal prince) of Upper Egypt. 
The enemies were in Heliopolis, and their chief Apepi (Aphophis, M.) 
in Avaris." * Here, the document tells us, Apepi received the news 
of a virtual renunciation of subjection by the Theban Tiaaken, 
who refused to worship Soutekh, the god to whom Apepi had built 
"an everlasting temple." To the formal demand now made by 

*^ Genesis xli. 45. 

^ Mr. Stuart Poole, who, even before the most important discoveries A-om the 
monuments, argued convincingly that the Pharaoh of Joseph was a Shepherd 
King, identifies him with Asses, the last of the first series of 6 kings mentioned in 
Josephus's extract from Manetho, and the Asaa of the monuments. But it is very 
doubtful if this Aasa is the same as Amcs. In Manetho's List of the 15th dynasty 
the sixth place is occupied by AphobiSy of course the Aphophis of the fragment. 

^ It will be observed that the royal title is here withheld from the chief of the 
Hyksos : but an inscription, comparing a new invasion in the time of Menephtha, 
son of Rameses II., with the calamities inflicted by the Shepherds, uses some 
remarkable expressions : — " Nothing was seen the like of this even in the time of 
the Kings of Lower Egypt^ when this land of Egypt was in their power ^ and the 
calamity lasted, at the time when the Kings of Upper Egypt had not the strength 
to repulse the foreigners : " — expressions which countenance the view that the 
war was as much one for the supremacy of Upper Egypt, as for the liberation of 
the whole country. 


Apepi, Tiaaken sent a contemptuous rejoinder, and both kings pre- 
pared for war. This account shows that the Hyksos, residing in 
Lower Egypt, and occupied with the military care of the eastern 
frontier, had allowed the native dynasty to consolidate itself in the 
Thebaid, till it had strength to begin a religious revolt. 

Manetho, as quoted by Josephus, says that "the kings of the 
rest of Egypt " joined those of the Thebaid in this revolt ; and he 
agrees with the papyrus in representing the ensuing war as long 
and bloody. It occupied the remainder of Tiaaken's time, the 
short reign of his successor, Kames, and the greater part of that of 
Aahmes, who brought it to an end.*** The soil of Egypt seems to 
have been disputed foot by foot between the insurgent patriots, ani- 
mated with religious enthusiasm, and the disciplined hordes of the 
Semitic invaders, till the latter were shut up in their great fortress 
of Avaris. We have already quoted the account of Manetho, in 
Josephus, how they withdrew from Egypt, under a convention, to 
the number of 240,000, and crossing the desert into Syria, built 

It is one very striking result of recent Egyptian discoveries, that 
we are able to quote, if not exactly the despatch of the admiral who 
commanded Pharaoh's fleet, its equivalent in his epitaph. This 
officer, who bore the same name as the king, Aahmes, says : — " When 
I was bom in the fortress of Ilithyia [in Upper Egypt], my father 
was lieutenant of the late king Tiaaken. ... I acted as lieutenant 
in turn with him on board the vessel named the Cdlf^ in tlie 
time of the late Bling Aahmes** .... I went to the fleet of 
the north to fight. It was my duty to accompany the sove- 
reign when he mounted his chariot. They were besieging the 
fortress of Tanis,*^ and I fought on my legs before His Majesty. 
This is what followed on board the vessel named the Enthronisa- 
Hon of Memphis.^ A naval battle was fought on the Water of Tanis 
(JLake Menzaleh), . . . The praise of the king was bestowed on 
me, and I received a collar of gold for my bravery. . . . The 
(decisive) combat took place at the southern part of the fortress. . . . 
They took the fortress of Tanis ; and I carried off a man and two 

^ This is according to the Eg^yptian accounts; but Manetho (ap. Joseph.) places 
the event under Misphragmuthosis and his son Thuthmosis (as crown prince), who 
seem (from a comparison of the lists and monuments) to correspond to Thothmes 
III. and IV. : for the former is probably for Muphra-TotUhmoaia {Thotmes beloved 
of Phra), There may, however, be a confusion between the names of Amosis and 

^^ The last statement, which looks like a wilful gloss of the Jewish historian, 
may have arisen from a confusion between the sacred name of Jerusalem {Xodesh, 
i.e. holy) with the other Kadeah, or sacred city, of the Hittites on the Orontes, 
which is often mentioned in the wars of the XYIIIth and XlXth dynasties. 

ft2 The ship was doubtless so named in honour of Apis. 

&> This leaves little doubt of the identity of Avaris and Tanis. 

^ Perhaps in honour of the coronation of Aahmes as king of Lower Egypt. 


women, three heads in all, whom His Majesty granted me as 
slaves." ** This very moderate booty, while it shews the veracity 
of the narrator, seems to indicate the very partial success of the 
assault, and so far confirms the account of Manetho, that the fortress 
was evacuated under a capitulatioo. 

It must not, however, be supposed that the whole mass of the 
invaders were driven, with their warriors, from the soil of Egypt. 
Many were permitted to remain as cultivators of the lands on which 
they had long been settled, in a condition very similar to that of the 
Hebrews. In iiEM^t^ the more the condition of ancient Egypt unfolds 
itself to our researches, the more clearly do we see that the Delta was 
largely peopled (at all events in the east) by Semitic races, forming a 
nationality distinct fix>m that of the true Egyptians, and becoming 
at last, under the tyrants of the XlXth dynasty, the Poland of the 
New Monarchy. The descendants of some of these Shemites, perhaps 
of the Hyksos themselves, are supposed to have been discovered by 
M. Mariette in the strong-limbed people, with long faces and a grave 
expression, who live at the present day on the borders of the Lake 

§ 22. This episode of Egyptian history has some very interesting 
relations to other countries. " The account given by Apollodorus," 
that iBgyptus, the son of Belus, brother of Agenor, king of Phoe- 
nicia, came from Arabia and conquered Egypt, unhistorical as it is, 
may have had its origin in the invasion of the Hyksos, who are 
called both Phoenicians and Arabians, and who settled iu Palestine 
on their expulsion from Egypt. The connection of the myth of Isis, 
Osiris, and Typhon, with Phoenicia, of the Tyrian with the Egyptian 
Hercules,^ and generally of Phoenician with Egyptian civilization, 
will be best explained by the supposition that the nomad tribes 
of Palestine were masters of Egypt for several generations, and 
subsequently returned to the same country, carrying with them the 
knowledge of letters and the arts, which they were the instruments 
of diffusing ov^ Asia Minor and Greece. Phoenicia Juts evidently 
been the connecting link bettveen these countries and Egypt, which 
directly can have exercised only a very slight and transient influ- 
ence upon them." *• 

* Ftom the translatiozi of M. le Yiscomte de Roag^ in Lenormant's * Bistoiro 
Andenxie,' toL i. p. 23 1. 

M It irill be sufficient merely to refer to the speculations of Dr. Beke on the 
Shepherd Kings, and on the distinction which he imagines, between the SemUie 
JHzrc&m of the Delta, and the true CuthUe JBgypiians. (See Beke's * Origines 
Biblicfls,' and the * Atheneum,* June 12th, 19th, and 26th, 1869.) 

" ApoUod. II. 1, § 3. M Herod. U. 44. 

w Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,* roL ii. pp. 192, 193. 

E 3 

during the IsuudMioii. 




1. Axmttt, or Ahuib, lOimdBr or th> Tliebui Uimtiebj. The XVni 
XlXlh, and XSUi Dfiiutics. § I. The ciq of Teub. Ou^isal noUc 
lu gates end v»-cbarlolt. g S. Bile Dt Tbebea. It> extent Vilkpti on 
it> lite. VFgtIgea or the elt7 and lu Knet*. § «. KemKlns of «a prindiwl 
tdificM. IheNecnpaliiuidTofnbiorUieKliigb Xonak mi Lmror. § I 
goitrcM of tbe ProBpeillj of Thebes. It> maDuttctnm aod Fopulition. Thi 
lellgioui capital of Egypt and £tblapia. § e. Tbe Rise, DfcUde, and fall o: 
Tbebea. § T. The XtfUeailli Dynaity. Rapid reilTal of Egypt. Aikhq 
Hia ethloptan queen, and Ihe conKquent dynastic clalzna. § B. Bia Asiitii 
Wara. Peoplea of Western Arfa. Tbe Bhatau (Aralis), CmmmOa. Kkth 
(HittitesjaDlheOrontes. The AoMnnsuandA'aAaraJii (Mesopotamia]. ArmmiB 
\ t. Amkk-udtip or Ahekofhis I. Hia Ware in AsU and Ethiopia PoUcj 
of Egypt to subject Blatea. The Egyptian calendar. Brick arches. § 10 
Thoibbm I. reaches the Euphntea. Tbe horie brought Into Egypt. Temple 
of Karnali begun. § 11. THOTBHn II. Ethiopia bcomies a Tlceroyally. 
Tbothhes 111. Regency of Hixieon. Her obellaka at Xarnnt and other 
irorka. CoBiineat of Arabia Felii. Her nine eraied from her monumenta. 
§ 13. The reign of Tuothhis III. Ute climax of the power of Egypt. Extent 
of her Empire, frov tbe Enpbratea to Abysainia. Tb* " Namerictl Wall of 
Kamak." Victory oier tbe Syrisna at Uigidda. gnhmitalDn of Aasyria. 
g 13. ConqnesC of Ccele-Syria. Foreign princes brought np in Egypt. 

of Thothmca III. Conquest* in the Mediterranean. § IJ. Hii monamenta 
in Ethiopia. Eapediliona into Negro-land. § le. General view of the 
nations and trlhntea repreaentfd on his monumenta. § 17. Bnlldinga of 
ThDtbmes III, Brlck'Oiaklng by Captires. Thirty variations of his ^lame. 
g 18. Aheh-bdtep II. andTMDTBHuIV. Conqucstsandmcnnmentaot Aheii- 
noTEP III. Great alare-hnntlng r^ds. Arrogance of his Tltlea. § 19. 
IdentlSciUon of him with (he Jfemoon of the Greeks and Romana. His 
hebea. ■■ The Vocal Memnon." BoloOon of the 

mystery. § 21 

le goda of Egypt. End of (he Eighleenlh Dynaetj. 


§ 1. The conqi^eror of the Hyksos, Aahmes, Ahmes, or Ames (i. e., 
tJie Moon : Ames or Amosis in Manetbo),^ was the founder of the 
New Thehan MonaTchy,which raised Egypt to the climax of her power 
under the XVIIlth dynasty ; maintained her empire with 8i)lendour, 
but not without many struggles, under the XlXth ; and lost it, 
after some flashes of dying glory (as kings use the word) under the 
XXth; when the supremacy passed finally from Thebes. The 
monarchy lasted, according to Manetho, nearly 600 years; but 
more probable calculations limit its duration to about 4^ years, 
from B.C. 1530 to about B.C. 1100. 

§ 2. The seat of this power was the great city of Upper Egypt, 
which the Greeks called 1'hebes (e^/3ai), not by any perversion, 
but by one of those curious coincidences which are often found in 
names that have no connection. It represents the form AP-T or 
T-AP, which is the usual name of the city in the hieroglyphic 
inscriptions.^ But the resemblance of name led to a confusion of the 
legends relating to the Egyptian and Boeotian Thebes. The fame of 
the former city, and of the war-chariots of its kings, was well-known 
to Homer, who speaks of " Egyptian Thebes, where are vast trea- 
sures laid up in the houses ; where are a hundred gates, and from 
each two hundred men go forth with horses and chariots;" that 
is, 10,000 chariots, with two men for each. The numbers are of 
course poetical, but the epithet of Hecatompylos endured.^ 

All traces of the city wall had already disappeared in the time of 
Diodorus, and the absence of any vestige of a wall goes far to show 
that there never was one.* As Pliny describes Thebes as "a 
hanging city," built upon arches, so that an army could be led 
forth from beneath it, without the knowledge of the inhabitants, it 
has been suggested that there may l^ve been near the river-line 

^ He is sometimes called Aahmes J., in contradistinction to Aahmes II. the 
Amosis of the Greek writers. 

* The name isAp or Ape {headf i.e. capital) ^ with the feminine article T. 
Tapi was pronounced, in the Memphite dialect of Coptic, Thabot whence the 
Greek TJiebte^ and the Latin Thebe, as Pliny and Juvenal write it. The city was 
also called Z»'m, the name of its nomej the fourth in order proceeding northwards 
from the cataracts : this name was applied in later times to a particular locality 
<m the western side of Thebes. It had, besides, the sacred name of P-amen or 
AmiM'-ei (the abode of Amon), from its patron deity, whom the Greeks identified 
with their Jove, under the special title of Zeus Ammon (Jupiter Ammon, Lat.) ; 
and hence they called the city also Diospolis the Great, in contradi8tinction to 
DiospoHs the Less near Abydos. The Hebrew name of If o- Amon (Jer. xWi. 25 ; 
Nah. iii. 8), or simply No (Ezek. xxx. 14, 16), has a similar origin, though the 
force of the No is disputed : it is commonly interpreted " the portion of Amun." 
(See ' Diet, of the Bible,* arts. No- Amon and Thebes). 

* Hom. *I1.' ix. 881-385. The explanation of Diodorus (i. 45, § 7) that the 
»• 100 gates" refer to the propykea of the temples is as decidedly unpoetical. 

* Sir G. Wilkinson holds that it was not the custom of the Egyptians to wall in 
their cities. See his account of their fortifications in Bawlinson's * Herodotus, ' 
Tol. iL p. 257. 


arched buildings used as barracks, from whose gateways 10,000 
war-chariots may have issued forth. 

§ 3. The site of Thebes seems marked by nature for the capital 
city of Upper Egypt. In about 25° 40' of north latitude, the two 
chains of hills, which hem in the valley of the Nile, sweep away on 
both sides, and return again on the north, leaving a circular plain of 
about 10 miles in diameter, divided almost equally by the river, 
and protected by a narrow entrance against a force ascending the 
Nile. In the days of its magnificence, the city, with its necropolis, 
seems to have covered the whole plain ; but our earliest accounts 
date from a thousand years after the days of its glory, and five hun- 
dred years from the time when it was devastated by Cambyses.* 
Diodorus gives it a circuit of 140 stadia (14 geographical miles) ; 
and states that some of its private houses were four or five storeys 
high. But these houses, which were chiefly on the eastern side of 
the river, occupied a small space as compared with the temples, 
palaces, and tombs, which still remain to attest its grandeur, and 
to reveal its history. Strabo, just at the Christian era, writes : — 
"Vestiges of its magnitude still exist, which extend 80 stadia 
(8 geographical miles) in length .* . . . The spot is at present occu- 
pied by villages." 

And so it is at this day : the site is marked by the villages of 
Kamah and Lucxor (or El- Uqsor) on the east, or Arabian side, and 
Kumeh and Medinet-Abou on the west, or Libyan side, of the Nile. 
The river averages about half a mile in width ; but at the inunda- 
tion it overflows the plain, especially on the western side, over a 
breadth of two miles or more : in ancient times it may have been 
embanked, perhaps by the arched constructions mentioned by Pliny. 
The alluvial deposit has, in about 32 centuries, raised the surface to 
the height of seven feet round the bases of the twin colossi of 
Amunoph III., which stand several hundred yards from the bed of 
the low Nile. The four villages named mark the angles of a quad- 
rangle, measuring two miles from north to south, and four from east 
to west, which forms the site of the X)resent monumental city, and 
probably defines that of the ancient royal and sacred quarters. 
At these four angles are the ruins of four great temples,^ each of 
which seems to have been connected with those facing it on two 
sides by grand avenues (dromoi) lined with sphinxes and other 
colossal figures. Upon the western bank there was an almost con- 

B Herodotus gives no particular account of it ; and some critics even question 
his statement that he visited the city. (Herod, ii. 8, 9.) 

^ This gives a circuit much greater than that assigned hy Diodorus. 

' The student should bear in mind, when the temples, &c., of Karnaky Luxor, 
Kumehy and Medinet-Abou are referred to, that they are all monuments of 
Thebks itself. 


tinuous line of temples and public edifices for a distance of two miles, 
from Kumeh to Medinet-Ahou ; and Wilkinson conjectures that 
from a point near the latter, perhaps in the line of the colossi, the 
" Royal Street " ran down to the river, which was crossed by a ferry 
terminating at Luxor on the eastern side. 

§ 4. The principal edifices, which we have frequent occasion to 
mention for their historical testimony, are the following : (1) At the 
north-west comer, the Menephtheion^ or palace- temple of Seti I. of 
the 19th dynasty, at the deserted village of Old Kumeh : (2) Nearly 
a mile to the south is the so-called Memnoiiium (now also called 
the Rameseion), the palace-temple of Bameses II., Miamun,® the son 
of Seti I., with its marvellous shattered colossus of the king; and, 
about a third of a mile further south, the twin colossi above named, 
one of which is the famed "vocal Memnon." Further south, at 
Medinet-Ahou, are — (3) A temple built by Thothmes I., and (4) 
The magnificent southern Bameseion, or palace-temple of Bameses 
III., of the 20th dynasty, with its splendid battle-scenes from 
that king's history. (5) On the same (west) side of the river is 
the vast Necropolis, excavated to a depth of several hundred feet 
in the Libyan hills, over a length of five miles. The extent of 
the tombs may be imagined from the example of one of them, which 
has an area of 22,217 square feet. A retired valley in the moun- 
tains, the Biban-d-Mdooky " Gates of the Kings," contains the sepul- 
chres of the kings. These tombs, like those of Memphis, preserve 
treasures of the knowledge of ancient Egypt, which explorers have 
only b^un to gather up. The whole western quarter bore the distinc- 
tive name of Fathyris,^ or the abode of Atur (^Athor), the goddess who 
was believed to receive the sun in her arms as he sank behind the 
Libyan hills. It was divided into separate quarters, as the Memno- 
neia, and the Thynctbunum, where the priests of Osiris were interred. 

On the eastern side, the monuments of Karnak and Imocot are far 
too numerous to mention. The site of Karnak (probably the original 
city of Amun), at the north-east angle of the quadrangle, forms a city 
of temples. Its grandest edifice is a temple, covering a space of 
nearly 1800 feet square, with its courts and propylasa, the work 
of nearly every age of Egypt (except that of the Old Memphian 
Monarchy), from the Twelfth Dynasty to the Ptolemies. ' Here are 
the oldest monuments of Thebes, belonging to Sesortasen \}^ 

* One derivation of the Greek names Memnon and Memnonium is from this 
samame of Rameses. 

* The Greek form of the -word is Pathros (comp. Is. xi. 11 ; Ezek. xxix. 14, 
XXX. 18-18). The Pathros of Jeremiah (xliv. 31) may be another city of Athor 
in the Delta. 

^ Excepting the few fragments of a building on the W. side, where Wilkinson 
has discovered the name of Amenemes I. The non-appearance of earlier names, 
and the dilapidated state of the oldest part of the building, are doubtless due to 
the ravages 6f revolntion and invasion, and especially to the Hyksos. 


§ 5. The power and prosperity of Thebes arose from three sources 
— trade, manufactures, and religion. Its position on the Nile, near 
the great avenues through the Arabian hills to the Red Sea, and to 
the interior of Libya through the Western Desert — rendering it a 
common entrep6t for the Indian trade, on the one side, and the 
caravan trade with the gold, ivory, and aromatic districts, on the 
other — and its comparative vicinity to the mines which intersect 
the limestone borders of the Red Sea, combined to make Thebes 
the greatest emporium in Eastern Africa, until the foundation of 
Alexandria turned the stream of commerce into another channel. 

It was also celebrated for its linen manufacture — an important 
fabric in a country wh^re a numerous priesthood was interdicted 
from the use of woollen garments.^ The glass, pottery, and intaglios 
of Thebes were in high repute ; and, generally, the number and 
magnitude of its edifices, sacred and secular, must have attracted to 
the city a multitude of artisans, who were employed in constructing, 
decorating, or repairing them. The priests alone and their attendants 
doubtless constituted an enormous population ; for, as regarded 
Egypt, and for centuries Ethiopia also, Thebes stood in the relation 
occupied by Rome to medieval Christendom — it was the sacerdotal 
capital of all who worshipped Ammon, from Pelusium to Axumd, 
and from the Oases of Libya to the Red Sea. 

§ 6. We have seen that Thebes disputed the palm of antiquity 
with Memphis ; but its political importance dates from the Twelfth 
Dynasty, and its supremacy from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth. 
But its continued importance imder the succeeding dynasties, whether 
sprung from the Delta or from Ethiopia, is attested by their pictures 
and inscriptions on its walls. The first great blow that fell upon it 
from a foreign conqueror was struck by the Assyrian Asshur-bani- 
pal, and repeated more severely by Nebuchadnezzar ; ^ and " the Per- 
sian invader completed the destruction that the Babylonian had begun. 
The hammer of Cambyses levelled the proud statue of Rameses, and 
his torch consumed the temples and palaces of the city of the hundred 
gates. No- Ammon, the shrine of the Egyptian Jupiter, *that was 
situate among the rivers, and whose rampart was the sea,' sank from 
its metropolitan splendour to the position of a mere provincial town ; 
and, notwithstanding the spasmodic efforts of the Ptolemies to revive 
its ancient glory," became at last only the desolate and ruined sepul- 
chre of the empire it had once embodied. It lies to-day a nest of Arab 
hovels amid crumbling columns and drifting sands.'* ^* But on those 
crumbling stones, and preserved while hidden by those drifting sands, 

" Plin., ix. 1, 8. 4. 
^ See below : chap. vii. and viii. 

^ Its trade with Arabia and Ethiopia was at this time diverted to Coptos and 
^» Dr. J. P. Thompson, in the *Dict. of the Bible,' voL iii. p. 1475. 


are the pictorial scenes and the inscriptions, which enable us to repro- 
dace the history of the Theban Monarchy as if from authentic books. 

§ 7. With the Eighteenth Dynasty begins a continuous monu- 
mental history of Egypt, which reveals the confusion that has been 
introduced into the lists of Manetho. For example, his copyists 
have tacked on the first three kings of the XlXth dynasty to the 
XVIIJih, and have repeated them in the XlXth dynasty. The 
succession of kings determined from the monuments is as follows : — 
(1) Aahmes or Ames : (2) Amenhotep I. : (3) Thothmes J. : 
(4) Thothmes II. and the queen-regent Hatasou : (5) Thothmes 
in. : (6) Amenhotep II. : (7) Thothmes IV. : (8) Amenhotep III. : 
(9) Amenhotep IV. : (10) Hab-em-hebi, the Hobus of Manetho. 

It is surp^ing how rapidly Egypt seems to have recovered from 
the effects of the Shepherd invasion ; perhaps we should rather say 
that their conformity to Egyptian manners fostered the revival. 
Agriculture, commerce, art, are all in full vigour at the beginning of 
the new era. The perfection of the jeweller*s art is shown in the 
ornaments (now in the Cairo Museum) discovered by M. Mariette on 
the mummy of Queen Aah-hotep, the widow of Karnes and mother 
of Aahmes, The care of the new king in restoring the temples 
destroyed by the Hyksos, especially at Memphis and Thebes, is 
jxroved by an inscription, of his 22nd year, in the quarries of Jtbd 
Mohattem, opposite to Cairo ; which also shows that Lower Egypt 
was then imder his sway. Aahmes quelled a revolt in Nubia, and 
married an Ethiopian princess, Nqfre-t-ari, whom the monuments 
represent with regular Caucasian features, but a black skin. This 
marriage appears to have been the ground of the claims raised by his 
successors to the throne of Ethiopia. 

§ 8. On the other side, Aahmes, going to attack the Hyksos in their 
new abodes, began those wars in Western Asia, which his descend- 
ants carried on even beyond the Euphrates. The chief populations 
of that region, with whom the Egyptians thus came into contact, 
were the following: (1) The Arab tribes (called Shasou on the 
monuments), in the deserts on the north-eastern (rentier, including 
the Midianites and Edomites (or Idumeans), besides the Amalekites, 
who were the chief of these tribes. (2) Palestine was occupied, as 
at the time of the conquest under Joshua, by the numerous tribes of 
the Canaanites^ under their petty kings who often ruled over only a 
single city — a condition which made conquest easy, but favoured 
insurrection. ,The great maritime plain along the Mediterranean, 
afterwards the seat of the Philistine confederacy, was early taken 
into the military occupation of Egypt, as the highway into Asia. 
(3) North of Canaan, in Coele-Syria and the valley of the Orontes, 
was the erreat nation of the Kheta or Hittites, the wars with whom 
form so conspicuous a part of the history of the XlXth dynasty. 


(4) Eastward through the whole of Aram, as far as and beyond the 
Euphrates, was the great confederacy of the Bot-h-no, or Bot-en-nou, 
or Buterif whose name is constantly re-appearing on the monuments. 
Marked by no well-defined territory or unity of race, it embraced all 
Mesopotamia,^* and possessed the cities of Nineveh and Babylon, ' 
where the Old Chaldaean Monarchy had probably lost its strenjith, and 
the Assyrian empire had not yet risen. The Semitic Assyrio-Chal- 
daeans, then under petty kings, seem to have formed the kernel of 
the confederacy, which, perhaps, derived its name from Besen, one 
of the oldest and greatest cities of Assyria;" but it included also 
all the Aramaean tribes on both sides of the Euphrates. (6) The 
furthest people reached by the Egyptian arms were the Japhetic 
races in the mountains of Armenia ; for the conquests of Sesostris 
beyond the Caucasus seem to be wholly fabulous. 

§ 9. The war in Asia was pursued by Amen-hotep I. (i.e. 
Serenity of AmmorC)^ the son and successor of Aiihmes, who is other- 
wise called Amunoph^ or, in Greek, ATnenophis}"^ He chastised the 
Bedouin Shasou, and made progress in the reduction of Palestine. 
In dealing with the petty principalities of Asia, the policy of the 
Egyptian kings was the same that was afterwards followed by 
the Assyrians and Persians, as well as by the Turks to this day. 
The little royalties were rendered tributary without being sup- 
pressed. So long as his sovereignty was acknowledged, the tribute 
paid, and the military contingents furnished, the Pharaoh viewed 
the quarrels of the petty princes rather as a security for tho main- 
tenance of his power. The wars of this king in Ethiopia are 
attested by a passage of the above-quoted inscription of the mariner 
Aahmes : — " I conducted the ship of King Amenhotep, when he 
made an expedition against Ethiopia to enlarge the boundaries of 
Egypt. The king took the mountain-chief prisoner in the Hiidst 
of his warriors." 

From a sepulchral box and a mummy-case bearing this king's 
name, it is evident that the Egyptians had already adopted the five 
intercalary days to complete the year of 365 days, as well as the 
division of day and night into 12 hours each. His name is also 
found on arches of crude brick at Thebes. But there is reason to 
believe that all these inventions had been made long before the 
time at which these proofs occur.^^ Amenophis was deified after 
his death. 

§ 10. Thothmeb I. " has left the proof of his progress in Ethiopia 

"^ The name Ndharain [two rivers) is found on the monuments, and seems 
identical with the Aram-Naharaim of the Bible. ^* See Genesis x. 12. 

^' Chebron, whom Manetho places second in the dynasty, is not named on the 

^ Wilkinson's * App. to Herod. Book II.,' in Bawlinson's ' Herod.,' vol. ii. p. 355. 

^ The name is also written Thouthntes and Thoutmes, and, by Manetho, 


by an inscription, "belonging to his second year, on the rocks opposite 
to the Me of Tombos, recording his victories over the Nahai^ or 
Negroes, But his great exploits were in Asia. Having finished 
the conquest of the Canaauites, he gained a great victory over the 
Botennou, near Damascus, and pressed on to the Euphrates, which 
he crossed at Carchemish,^ Tablets commemoratiu'^ his piissage 
were set up on the banks of the river, as well as of the Upjwr Nile ; 
and the same mariner, who has been twice cited, records his service 
under Thothmes I. when he captured 21 men, a horse, and a chariot 
in the land of Naharain. This is the first appearance ol the horse 
(under its Semitic name of Sus) in the Egyptian records ; and 
henceforth we find the Theban kings using war-chariots ; but the cha- 
riots of Joseph's Pharaoh afford a proof that the horse and the war- 
chariot had already been introduced by the Hyksos. Thothmes I. 
also leads the way in the great architectural works which distin- 
guished this and the following dynasties. He seems to have begun 
the great palace of Kamak, in the central court of which stood two 
• obelisks bearing his name. One of these records a victory over the 
nation of the Nine Bows, who are supposed to be the Libyans. 

§ 11. The final submission of Ethiopia is all that marks the reign 
of Thothmes II. We now first find, on the rocks of Syene, the 
title of " Royal Son of Gush," which appeal's to denote a viceroy of 
Ethiopia, of the royal blood. 

After a very short reign, Thothmes IT. was succeeded by his 
brother Thothmes III., who was slill a child. His eldest sister, 
Hatasou (also called Nemt-Amen), who seems to have had a large 
share in the government during the preceding reign, now assumed 
the full style and functions of royalty* for seventeen yeara. She has 
left a monument of her splendour in the two great obelisks in the 
central court of the palace of Kamak, one of which is still erect. 
It is of rose-coloured granite, 90 feet high, and carved with figures 
and hieroglyphics of such fine and free workmanship that, as 
BoselUni says, " every figure seems rather to have been impressed 
with a seal than graven with a chisel." From the inscription on 
the base we learn that the obelisk was a monument to her father, 
Thothmes I., that seven months were occupied in cutting it out 
from the rocks at Syene and transporting it to Thebes, and that the 
pyramidion on its summit was made of gold taken from enemies. 

ITunttmosis. It is derived from Thoth (the Egyptian Hermes), the god of letters 
and of the moon. 

2® This city, so often mentioned on the Egyptian monuments, and also in the 
Bible, as a chief key to the line of the Euphrates, is usually identified with the 
classical (Hrcesium {Karkisia) at the junction of the Chaboras {Khtibur) with 
the Euphrates ; but some place it, on the authority of the Assyrian inscriptions, 
much higher up the river, at or near the site of the later Mabog or Hierapolia. 
The word means the fort of Chemosh, the well-known deity of the Moabites. At 
about B.C. 1000 it was in the possession of the Hittites. 


On the walls of the temple of Deir-d-Bahari, at Thebes, Hatasou 
has recorded, in splendid reliefs, her conquest of Fount, or Arabia 
Felix. Her name has been cut out of many of her monuments, 
probably to brand her royal style as an usurpation. Her power 
seems to have lasted till her death, even after the young king 
attained his majority, for her name is found on an inscription at 
Wady Mdgharah in the sixteenth year of the reign of Thothmes III., 
whose first military expedition was made in his twenty-second 

§ 12. It is the reign of Thothmes III., not that of Rameses II., that 
forms the true climax of the power of Egypt, who now boasted that 
"she fixed her frontiers where she would." She now attained a 
real Empire, embracing on the south Abyssinia, Soudan, and Nubia ; 
on the west a part of Libya ; on the east the peninsula of Sinai, 
and Yemen ; and on the north Syria, Mesopotamia, and Irak-Araby 
to the mountains of Armenia and Kurdistan ; and her internal 
organization was never more complete. On the greatest of his 
architectural works, the Temple of Kamak, Thothmes has left the 
record of his chief exploits in a magnificent bas-relief, which is 
known, from its statistics of booty and of prisoners, as the " Nu- 
merical Wall of Kamak," or the " Annals of Thothmes III."*^ 

In the twenty-second year of the king's reign, probably soon 
after the death of Hatasou, the Rotennou had refused to pay tribute 
and had stirred up an insurrection in Canaan. Gaza, one of the few 
strong places left, was chosen by Thothmes as his base of opera- 
tions. Here, in the following spring, he learned that the confede- 
rated Syrians and Ganaanites, under the King of Kadesh (on the 
Orontes), had posted themselves in the valley of Megiddo. Reject- 
ing more cautious counsels, he marched straight against them, and 
gained a decisive victory on the field of battle where Necho, long 
afterwards, slew Josiah. No less than 2132 horses and 914 war- 
chariots were the prize of the victory, though the enemy lost only 
83 killed and 340 prisoners. Perhaps the neighbouring motintains 
saved the fugitives. Megiddo, where the hostile chiefs had taken 
refuge, was soon reduced by famine, and Thothmes marched in 
triumph to the Euphrates. 

Returning the next year, he crossed the river at Carchemish, 
where he built a fortress, and the Rotennou submitted without a 
battle. Among the kings who paid tribute were those of Resen and 
of Asshur, or Elassar {Kalah-Shergat), It should here be remem- 
bered that, according to the custom of those days, chiefs "often 
agreed to make this acknowledgment of their defeat without yielding 
up their country to the victorious enemy as a conquered province ; 

2* The moderation of many of these numbers gives a strong presumption of 


and, in some cases, a country may have been called conquered (by 
the Egyptians, Assyrians, or others), when in fact a victory had 
only been gained over it-s army ; perhaps even when that army was 
beyond its own frontier.*' " 

§ 13. Four years of peace were followed, in the 20th year of 
the king's reign, by the conquest of Coele-Syria, whose people are 
seen bringing their tribute of wine, wheat, cattle, honey, and iron. 
Aradus, which was taken in this campaign, had to be retaken in the 
following year, when also Kadesh, on the Orontes, fell for the first 
time before the arms of Egypt.* The Assyrian princes beyond the 
Euphrates now renewed their submission, giving their sons and 
brothers as hostages to be brought up in Egypt, and agreeing that, 
in case of death, their successors should be appointed by Pharaoh, 
doubtless from the Egyptianized princes. This campaign in his 30th 
year is called his sixth expedition. 

In his 31st year Thothmes repaired in person to Mesopotamia to 
receive tribute ; and in his 33rd he appears to have completed the 
conquest of the country, for the inscription says that " he stopped at 
Nineveh (Ninieu), where he set up his stela in Naharain, having 
enlarged the frontiers of Egypt." Singar and Babylon also are 
represented as belonging to his empire; and, in Syria beyond the 
Jordan, Heshbon and Habbath-Anmion appear first as tributaries. 
Carrying on his conquests to their furthest limits, he received tribute 
from the Hemenen, who are supposed to be the people of Armenia, 

where," says a hieroglyphic inscription, " heaven rests upon its four 

§ 14. Meanwhile the maritime power of Thothmes III. gave a pro- 
mise of supremacy in the Mediterranean, which Egypt was not how- 
ever destined to acquire. As in later ages, her fleet was manned 
by the Phoenicians, who seem to have submitted to Thothmes on 
favourable terms, and (except some cities, as Aradus) remained for 
ages the faithful allies of Egypt. A monumental stela, discovered 
at Thebes by M. Mariette, and translated Rougd, describes, 
in a Biblical style of poetry, the conquest of Cyprus, Crete, and the 
southern isles of the ^gean, the neighbouring shores of Asia Minor 
and of Greece, and perhaps the southern extremity of Italy. It has 
even been conjectured, from the mention of the Asi among the 
northern nations who paid tribute to the fleet of Thothmes, that his 
maritime expeditions reached the shores of the Black Sea, where the 
Colchians were believed by Herodotus to have been a colony founded 
by the Egyptians to work the mines. Monuments of the power of 
Thothmes along the northern shore of Africa have been found at 
Zershdl, in Algeria, the Cassarea Julia of the Mauretanian kings. 

» WUkiiwon, « App. to Herod. II.,» In Rawlinson's « Herod.' U. p. 857. 
** The ruins of this city exist a little above Emesa. 



§ 15. Ethiopia was still peaceably subject to the Egyptian vice- 
roy, " the royal son of Cush," who is seen in the grotto of Ibrim, in 
Lower Nubia, bringing to Thothmes the tribute of gold, silver, and 
grain. At Amada he dedicated a temple to the sun, which was 
completed by Amenhotep II. and Thothmes IV. ; and at Semneh, 
as already mentioned, he restored that of the deified Sesortasen. 
Besides other monuments between the first and second cataracts, 
records of his power are found at Kumneh, opposite to Semneh^ 
which seems still to have been the frontier fortress, and at the isle of 
Sat, higher up the river. Frequent expeditions were made into the 
negro country ; and a bas-relief at Kamak shews no less than 115 
conquered African tribes, each represented, as is usual, by a single 
figure with the name of his tribe. 

§ 16. The following general view of the nations and tributes repre- 
sented on the monuments of Thothmes III. is given by Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson : — " The successes obtained by Thothmes over the Fount 
(a nation of Arabia), the Ku/a (supposed to be the people of Cyprus), 
the JRot'h-nOy and the southern Ethiopians, are commemorated on 
the monuments of Thebes. . . . The elephant and bear, horses, rare 
woods, bitumen, and the rich gold and silver vases brought by the 
Bot'tirno ; the ebony, ivory, and precious metals, by those of Fount ; 
the gold and silver vases of the Ku/a ; and the cameleopards, apes, 
ostrich-feathers, ebony, ivory, and gold (in dust, ingots, and rings), 
from Ethiopia, show the distance from which they were brought, as 
well as the richness of the tribute. The tight dresses, the long 
gloves, the red hair and blue eyes of the Bot-h-no, also proclaim them 
to be of a colder climate than Syria, though the jars of bitumen 
appear to place them in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates or the 
Tigris. The beauty of their silver, gold and porcelain vases, at all events 
point them out as a people far advanced in luxury and taste." ^ 

§ 17. The monuments of this king, which are found through the 
whole valley of the Nile, from the Delta to above the Second Cata- 
ract, exhibit almost the perfection of Egyptian art. The most im- 
portant of them, besides those already mentioned, are at Memphis, 
Heliopolis, Coptos, Ombos, and Thebes. The extent of his buildings 
at the capital is proved by the enclosures of crude brick that sur- 
rounded them. " There are, indeed, more bricks bearing his name 
than that of any other king ; and it is on the tomb where the tribute 
before mentioned is recorded that the curious process of brick-making 
is represented, which tallies so exactly with that described in Exodus. 
In these pictures we see the reprisals of Egypt on their Shemite 
oppressors of the time of the Hyksos. Thousands of Semitic pri- 
soners are represented on the temple-walls in the act of carrying 

^ Appendix to Herod. Book II., in Bawlinson*s * Herodotus,* vol. ii. p. 357-8. 


water to knead the mortar, forming bricks in wooden frames, spread- 
ing them out to dry in the sun, carrying them to the buildings iu 
course of erection, and the like ; all this being done under the eye of 
Egyptian officials, lounging about armed with weighty sticks, while 
different inscriptions inform us of the nature of the special work 
done by these * prisoners whom the king has taken, that they might 
build temples to his gods.*"^ The British Museum contains 
the head and arm of his huge colossal statue in red granite 
at Karnak. His ovals also appear far more commonly on 
the smaller scarabasi than those of any other Pharaoh, and 
he is remarkable for the great variety in the mode of writing his 
name, of which we have more than thirty variations,*^ '^ Manetho 
assigns him (under the name of Misphragmuthosis) only 26 years ; 
but his 47th year is found on the monuments. The difference may 
bo accounted for in part by the time of his sister's regency. 

§ 18. During the short reigns of Ambnhotep II. (who is omitted 
by Manetho) and Thothmes IV., the condition and boundaries of 
the empire remained much the same. The former repressed an insur- 
rection of Mesopotamia, and sent the dead bodies of seven kings to 
be hung, six under the walls of Thebes and the seventh at Napata, 
the capital of Ethiopia, " that the blacks might see that the king's 
victories went on for ever, in all lands and all peoples of the world, 
since he at once held possession of the nations of the south, and 
chastised the nations of the north."*' Thothmes IV. is represented 
in his 7th year as conquering the negroes and receiving tribute from 
Assyria. Manetho assigns him 9 years. His name is found on the 
Great Sphinx.* 

His son, Amenhotbp III., rivalled the fame of Thothmes III. as a 
conqueror and a builder; and, adds Manetho, "be is thought to be 
Memnon and the Speaking Statue.*' The list assigns him 31 years, 
but his 36th is found on the monuments. On the columns of his 
beautiful temple at Soleb, in Nubia, he records the names of the 
nations conquered by him in Asia and in Africa ; the former including 
the Founty Carchemishf the fort of Atesh {Kadesh .♦), Naharam (i, e, 
Mesopotamia), and many others. His arms were carried above 
Napata (Jehel Berkd), the capital of Ethiopia, and an inscription 
on one of the large scarahcei^ which he frequently used as records, 
boasts that his empire extended from Mesopotamia to Kiliee or Kam^ 
in Abyssinia.^ He appears to have carried on those great slave- 
bunting raids into the negro-land, which have disgraced the rulers 
of Egypt down to recent times, for on an inscription at Semneh we 

** Brugach, *Au8 dcm Orient,' quoted in the * Saturday Review,* Dec. 9, 1865. 
«« Sir G. Wilkinson, I. c, p. 359. 

«T From an inscription at the temple of Amada in Nubia. ** See p. 47. 

^ This place is supposed to be the same as C!oloe, about 100 miles £. or E.N.E. 
of Ax am. 


read of 740 and 1052 "living head" of negroes, many of them 
children, as among his captives. 

His buildings in Egypt are at Syene, Elephantine, Silsilis, Ilithyia, 
the Serapeum at Memphis, and especially at Thebes, where he added 
to the temple of E^rnak and erected a chief part of that of Luxor. 
The dedication of this temple is worth quoting, as an example of 
the style and titles arrogated to themselves by the Egyptian kings : — 
"He is Horus, the potent bull, who governs by the sword and 
destroys all the barbarians; he is the King of tipper and Lower 
Egypt, the absolute master, the son of the Sun ; he smites the chiefs 
of all countries ; he marches on and gathers victory, like Horus, son 
of Isis, like the Sun in the heaven ; he overthrows their fortresses ; 
he obtains for Egypt the tribute of all nations by his valour, he, the 
lord of the two worlds, the son of the Sun." 

§ 19. It was in this last character that the Greeks and Bomans iden- 
tified Amenophis III. with Memnon,** son of Aurora, whom Homer 
represents as coming from Ethiopia to the aid of Troy. His colossal 
statue on the plain of Thebes was heard, at sunrise, to emit sounds, 
which were taken to be his morning salutation to his father. This- 
celebrated statue, hence called the Vocal Memnon, is one of two 
seated colossi, of breccia, 47 feet high, or 53 feet with their bases, 
which Amenophis set up in front of a temple which he erected in 
the western quarter of Thebes. It was broken in half (some said 
by Cambyses, others by an earthquake under Tiberius) and repaired 
with several layers of sandstone in the time of Septimius Severus. 
On its back is the name of Amenhotep III., with the title " Phra 
(the Sun), the Lord of Truth ;** and on its legs are numerous attesta- 
tions in Greek and Latin, by visitors in the time of the Boman 
empire, who heard it emit a sound like a harpHString, or, as Strabo 
says, like a slight hhw}^ 

The last statement tends to confirm the explanation of Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson, who found in the lap of the colossus (where, he suggests, 
a priest or servant may have been concealed) a stone which, on being 
struck with a hammer, emitted a metallic sound, such that the 
peasants, whom he had placed to listen below, said, " You are striking 

^ How easily these fancied reflemblances of names led to confusion, ve have 
seen in the probable derivation of the Memnonium at Thebes from the surname of 
Barneses II. Miamun. There is no connection between the Memnonium and the 
vocal Memnon. Pausanias (i. 42, § 3) preserves the true name of the statue 
slightly altered : — ** The Thebans say this is not a statue of Memnon, but of 
Phamenoph^ a native of the country. 

" Strabo xvii. 46. It is worth while to notice the gretA g:eographer*s caution 
in describing even a marvel witnessed by himself ; " When I was at those places, 
with ^lius Gallus, and numerous friends and soldiers about him, I heard a noise 
at the first hour of the day, but whether proceeding from the base, or from the 
colossus, or produced on purpose by some of those standing around the base, I 
cannot confidently assert." 



brass." Another modem traveller says, " Not at sunrise, but in the 
glaring noon, the statue emitted a sharp clear sound, like the ringing 
of a disc of brass imder a sudden concussion. This was produced by 
a ragged urchin, who, for a few piastres, clambered up the knees of 
the ' vocal Memnon,' and there, effectually concealing himself from 
observation, struck with a hammer a sonorous stone in the lap of the 
statue." »* 

§ 20. The death of Amenhotep III. was followed by an attempted 
religious revolution, of which the records are obscure. Both the Lists 
of Manetho and the monuments give the name of several occupants 
of the throne, some of whom are designated " Stranger Kings." 
The chief of these, Amenhotep IV., claims to be the son of Amen- 
hotep UI., but his features are essentially un-Egyptian.'' It is sup- 
posed to have been under the influence of his mother Taiay whose 
portraits show her to have been a foreigner, that he discarded the old 
gods of Egypt for the direct worship of the Sun, under the Syrian 
name of Aten ; changed his own name to Chou-en-Aten (brilliancy 
of the solar disc) ; and set up a new capital, in the ruins of which, 
at Tel-Amamaftie is seen presiding over the new cult. 

Among his obscure successors, the monuments furnish the names 
of Amontouonkh and Har-em-hehi, sons of Amenophis III. To tbe 
latter of these, under the name of Hobus, Manetho assigns 36 to 38 
years ; ** but the only date upon the monuments is that of his 2nd 
year, when an inscription and relief at Silsilis represent his triumphant 
return from a campaign in Ethiopia. The features of Horus are 
remarkable for their likeness to Amenophis III. There are traces 
of a violent reaction against the religious innovations of Amenophis 
IV., whose buildings have been overthrown, and his capital at Tel- 
Amama systematically devastated ; and the names of the " Stranger 
Kings " are effaced from their monuments. Amidst these troubles the 
Eighteenth Dynasty came to an end, having lasted about 200 years, 

from the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 14th century B.C. 


^ Dr. J. P. Thompson, in tiie * Diet, of the Bible/ art. Thebss, toI. iii. p. 1472. 
Letronne, however, explained the Bounds as produced by a crepitation of the stone 
under the heat of the sun, when imprecated with the morning dew. It is urged 
that all the attestations of the sounds belong to the time during which the upper 
part of the statue lay upon the ground, and the broken surface of the seated part 
exposed its reins to the action of the dew. We have little doubt that Wilkinson's 
solution is right. 

** Wilkinson regards the features of Amunoph III. himself as un-Egyptian, 
and observes that his tomb at Thebes is placed apart from those of the other 
Pharaohs, and in company with that of one of the *' Stranger Kings." 

■* Sir Gardner Wilkinson supposes the 36 to 88 years to have covered the 
whole period of the Stranger Kings. M. Mariette found on an Apis-stela the name 
of a successor of Horus, JResi-toti or EesUot, who would be the Mathos of Manetho. 



5 1. CbnrMter of the ffbietcnlh Dgnmfy, Rimaa I. § i. Sun T. Hi« porf- 
§ 3. Building, of Seti I. Itall of Colunim 8t Kumiili. g *. 

exploit!. The J 
glory. Lf^nd 
fcnslTe. IIi> cl 
Bcrilie J-nUfloBT 
Gl^« Opeistioni 
j .. R.....1 , 

.!«(. §6. 
r in Sjri. 

li rtlgn. 5 D. 

med at the tui 
■e pcMontry. 

§ 10. Opprmion of tl 
Rahesu U. proved 
I af Iht dill Samm 

nt Medintl-Alnm. § IB. B 
of King! named Samiia. 

Mkbxhfhtha or Mehifhtha, Um Plurwib af 
defeat of the Libjaa Invaderfl^ Tha Exodvb, 
!' to Eg!pt. § li. N«v invaiioQ from the Eut. 
. Flight of MmepblliB, § Ifl. Intrmive dynastj 

to Asim preKTTed. ^ 17 . Tbt !I\iiBiliith J>^mly 

.B. HiA j^reat canipai^ In Eyrla. Kaial Tklory 

■ "■ ■ ■ if RamewB III. IIli tomb, § 18, 

[g VlII, DcgUne of Kgjpt. Power 

TbFir relBtioD to the XXIst Dfiiaity. 

g 1. The Nineteenth Dynatty is often regarded, in the light of 
the splendid recoida of Barneses II., as having reached a climax 


above its predecessor. But the true difiference has been well put by 
M. Lenormant: — "Egypt, so threatening under the Eighteenth 
Dynasty, becomes now almost always threatened.'* Rhamses, or 
Raxeses I., the founder of the dynasty, was either the grandson of 
Horns by the female line, or, according to those who believe Ameno- 
pbis IIL to have been of foreign race, the pedigree of Rameses is to 
be tiaced from Amenophis I. and his queen Ames-nofri-are. At all 
events^ he represented the legitimate line of the Theban kings. His 
position as the head of a new dynasty is marked by his tomb at 
Thebes being the first that was made in the valley of Biban-el- 
Molook. His reign was short, and his monuments are few. His 
only recorded expedition was against the Kheta (Hittites) of the 
Orontes, who seem to have taken advantage of the recent troubles 
in Egypt to acquire the power which now makes them conspicuous. 

§ 2. The glories of the XlXth dynasty begin with Seti I., sur- 
named Merenphtha, or Menephtha (dear to Phtha\ whose exploits, 
however, are often confounded with those of his son Rameses II. 
For this there seems to have been a reason. M. Mariette has dis- 
covered inscriptions in which Rameses says that he was king before 
his birth, and that his father Seti only governed for him. The pro- 
bable explanation is, that Seti, though called the son, was really the 
son-in-law of Rameses I., whose rights were transmitted direct to 
Rameses H. as soon as he was bom, or rather conceived ; and that 
the latter was associated with his father in the kingdom. This will 
account for the ascription by Manetho of 51 or 55 years to Sethos, 
and 61 or 68 to Rameses II. It even appears that Seti was not of 
pure Egyptian race, but had a share of Hyksos blood. Foreign 
features have been traced in his portrait and his son's ; and, what is 
most remarkable, an inscription, discovered at Tanis by M. Mariette, 
exhibits Rameses II. as restoring the worship of the god Soutekh in 
the ancient capital of the Shepherds, and calling the founder of their 
dynasty, Set-aa-pehti Nouhtiy his ancestor. In that name too, the 
resemblance to Seti is worth noting. 

§ 3. Seti and his son were the most magnificent builders among 
the Egyptian kings ; and the latter finished many works begun by 
the former. Among the monuments of Seti are the grand temple of 
Osiris at Abydos, recently brought to light, the palace of Kumeh 
at Thebes, and his tomb, which, by its sculptures and coloured deco- 
rations, and its alabaster sarcophagus, excels all the other sepulchres 
of the Theban kings ; but all these are surpassed in majesty by the 
hypostyle hall, or " Hall of Columns," in the palace of Kamak, the 
triumph of Egyptian architecture.* This grand hall is a forest of 

* The reader may be aided in perceiving the design, but must not imagino 
that he at all sees the effectf of this edifice from the miniature reproduction in the 
Crystal Palace. 



sculptured columns: in the central avenue are twelve, measuring 
each 66 feet in height by 12 in diameter, which formerly supported 
the most elevated portion of the roof, answering to the clerestory in 
Gothic architecture; on either side of these are seven rows, each 
column nearly 42 feet high by 9 in diameter, making a total of 134 
pillars in an area measuring 170 feet by 330. Most of the pillars 
are yet standing in their original site, though in many places the 
roof has fallen in. A moonlight view of this hall is the most weird 
and impressive scene to be witnessed among all the ruins of antiquity 
— the Coliseum of Rome not excepted. 

§ 4. The walls of this vast hall are covered with the exploits of its 
founder, in the most powerfully executed reliefs, accompanied by 
inscriptions, the whole forming what has been well called " an epic 
of war, a real Sethei'd." In one picture, the king attacks the Shasou 
of the Arabian Desert ; in another the Assyrians are partly cut in 
pieces, and partly bringing tribute. In Armenia, the Bemenen are 
felling* trees to open the conqueror a passage through their forests ; 
in Syria, great victories are gained over the Kheta. Another picture 
shews Seti's triumphant return to Egypt with hosts of captives. 
Among the vanquished nations are the Shasou, the Fount, the 
HotennoUy NaJiaram, SingaVy and about forty more, including the 
Cushites and other Africans. In short, the empire of Egypt in Asia 
and Africa recovered the extent won for it by Thothmes III. On 
the side of Ethiopia there seem to have been only slave-hunting 
expeditions. The Libyans were kept down, and the fleet commanded 
the Red Sea ; but the total absence of maritime exploits in the Medi- 
terranean has been accounted for by the mastery of the seas acquired 
by the Pelasgo-Tyrrhenians. More peaceful works were the sinking 
of an artesian well to aid in working the gold-mines of the south ; 
and, if we may trust Brugsch's interpretation of a picture, Seti 
began the canal uniting the Nile to the Red Sea, which appears to have 
been completed by his successor, whose monuments are found along its 
course. No monument has been discovered later than Seti's 30th year. 

§ 5. R AMESES II., surnamed Mbeiamun or Miamun (beloved of 
Amun)^ has long been invested with a fictitious glory by the splen- 
dour of the works executed during his long reign, and covered^ with 
poetical records of his exploits ; and, above all, through their exagge- 
ration by the Greeks in the legend of Sesostris,' — a legend which 
bears the same relation to his real deeds that the Xays of CharlerMigne 
bear to the history of Charles the Great. Even the real facts which 
it embodies are combined, as we have already seen, from the exploits 
of dififerent kings and dynasties. 

* Kameses III. bore the same title, bat only as Sipreenomerif not a part of his name. 

8 One of the many attempts to connect the name Seaoatris with the known 
kings of Egypt derives it from a title actually borne by Bameses II., Sestettou or 
jSesou ■i' Ra (the Sun). 


His education and training to martial exercises, with tbc youths 
bom on the same day, reads like a chapter of tlic Cyropadia ; but 
we have evidence of the care with which Egyptian 'prina'S were 
trained, in the extant lessons prepared f(»r his sod, Merenphtha, by a 
royal scrihe, as well as in the case of Moses. His first conquests 
were in Ethiopia and the Arabian Gulf, where he maintained a fleet 
of 400 ships of war, the first that the Egyptians liad seen 1 Mean- 
while he led his conquering army through Syria, Mesopotamia, 
Assyria, Media, Persia, Bactria, and India, even beyond the Ganges ! 
Thence, turning northward, he subdued the Scythian triU'S as far as 
the Tanals, placed a colony in Colchis, and traversed Asia Minor, 
where he set up stdce as monuments of his victories, carved with 
male or female emblems, according as he had been met with courage 
or cowardice. Crossing the Bosporus, he was at length stop])ed by 
famine and by the rugged land and inhospitable climate of Thrace ; 
and so he led back his army to Egypt, after nine years* absence, 
laden with booty, and dragging after him hosts of captives.* 

On the very face of this legend we see that it was framed so as to 
inclnde all the countries known to its inventors. The evidence of 
his own monuments confines the victories of Bameses almost entirely 
to the northern part of Syria. Though a great warrior, he was not 
a conqueror. His campaigns were essentially defensive ; and it was 
only by prodigious efiforts that he maintained the limits of the empire. 
For the rest, he was a cruel headstrong despot. We may venture to 
call him the Louis XIV. of the Eg3rptian monarchy ; and ''after him 
came the deluge.** 

{ 6. Bameses H. first appears in the later wars of his father, with 
whom, as we have seen, he was probably associated in the throne. 
But his regnal years are counted from the death of Seti L, when his 
age was about 28. His accession was attended by a revolt of south- 
cm Ethiopia, which was only subdued by the viceroys after long 
wars,^ in which Bameses took part in ^jerson in his second or third 
year. But the great scene of his own exploits was in Syria ; and wc 
have the record of them, not only on the walls of the Bameseum, 
but in a remarkable epic poem by the scribe Pentaour, which has 
been justly called the Bameseid, 

It was in his fifth year that he was called to meet a great ux>rising 
of the Kheta, who seem to have seized the opportunity of the 

* ComiMrc the remarkable pasaage in which Tacitus (' Ann.' ii. CO) relates the 
interpretation which the priests gare to Germanicns of the inscriptions at Thebes 
relating to the exploits of Rbaxsbs, the extent of his empire, and his tributes. 
Tacitus does not eall the king 8e$oitrit, but he speaks of Seiotis in his account of 
the Phienix (' Ann.' ri. 28). 

* These wars are depleted on the walls of the rock»hewn temples of Ahouilmhttl 
mad BeU-Wally, 

¥ 1 


troubles in Ethiopia to attack Palestioe, and to threaten Egypt 
itself, at the head of a great confederacy of Western Asia. Among 
the twelve nations leagued together, besides"* the Kheta, the Ara- 
maeans, the Botennou, the Phoenicians of Aradus, and the Cauaanites, 
some interpreters have found the principal peoples of Asia Minor, 
and Troy itself ! The chief theatre of the war was the valley of the 
Orontes, where was a stronghold of the Kheta, protected by the 
river and a double ditch, bridged with planks. The sculptures ex- 
hibit the whole system of attack and defence : here are the scaliug- 
ladder and the testicdo, with its wicker roof covering the terebra or 
boring-pike ; there the pioneers attack the gates with axes, while the 
archers clear the wall of its defenders. " Nor have the sculptures 
failed to shew the strength of the enemy in the attack made upon 
them by Bameses, or the skill with which they drew up their army 
to oppose him ; and the tale of their defeat is graphically told by the 
death of their chief, drowned as he endeavoured to pass the river, and 
by the dispersion of their numerous chariots." • 

§ 7. To these general scenes of the war the epic of Pentaour adds 
a personal exploit of Bameses, told in a true Homeric spirit, even to 
the vow which the king makes in the moment of extremest danger. 
By the fault of his generals and scouts Bameses had fallen iuto an 
ambush, where, disdaining to fly, and deserted by his followers, he 
rushes with his charioteer alone into the midst of the enemy, and 
cuts his way through their 2500 chariots of war. The passage is too 
long to quote, but the following version of a few lines may serve to 
give some rough idea of it : — 

" Nor foot nor horse could make a stand : against the warlike foe, 
Who on Orontes farther hank : held Kadesh' citadel. 
Then forth in glorious health and strength : came Bameses the King : 
Like Month the god he roused himself: and donned. his dress of war : 
Clad in resplendent arms he shone : like Baal in his might. 
Right on he urged his chariot wheels : amidst the Hittite foes : 
All hy himself alone was he : none other hy him stood. 
The chariots compassed him ahout : by hundreds twenty-five ; 
The swiftest of the Hittites flung themselves across his path. 
And round him surged the unnumbered hosts : that followed them to War. 
Each chariot held three warriors : but with him there was none, 
Captain, nor general of the cars : nor of the archer band." 

The scene ends with an Homeric reproof to his warriors and praise 
of his horses, who alone have saved him, in reward whereof they are 

^ Sir G. Wilkinson, in Bawlinson's * Uerodotus,' vol. ii. p. 369. The wars of 
Bnme.'cs II. in Syria were doubtless the occasion of his carving the three tablets 
which bear his name in the living rock at the mouth of the Lycus {Nahr'el-Kelh)^ 
north of Beyrouf, According to Lepsius the three refer to different campaigns : 
one in his fourth year, the other in his second or tenth. These are doubtless the 
nielce mentioned by Herodotus, though he mistook their character. Beside them 
are six others of Assyrian kings. 


to be served each day with grain in his palace, before the god Rn. 
After the final victory, we have his return to Egypt, and his welcome 
by Amun : — " Health to thee, Rameses, our cherished son. We grant 
thee terms of years innumerable. Sit for ever on the throne of 
thy father Amun, and let the barbarians bo crushed beneath tby 

§ 8. Notwithstanding all this glorification, the war was renewed 
two years later, and lasted fourteen years. At one time Palestine is 
nearly lost, and Rameses has to retake Ascalon to save the military 
road ; at another he advances to the very north of Syria. At length, 
in his 21st year, he makes peace with the Hittite king, on terms of 
remarkable equality, and in language which raises a smile from its 
likeness to the phraseology of modern treaties —perpetual amity — 
surrender of deserters — equality of commercial privileges — and so 
forth. These terms set in a clear light the contrast between Rameses 
and the conqueror Sesostris ! An interesting article is the provision 
for the restoration of the worship of Soutekh at Tanis ; while the 
Hittite king, Khetamr, engages on his part to pay like honour to the 
gods of Egypt. This peace was followed by the submission of 
Mesopotamia ; the limits of the empire of Thothmes III. were once 
more recovered ; and the rest of the reign of Rameses II. was tran- 
quil. In a stela set up at Ahou-simbel, in his 35th year, he represents 
the god Phtha-Sokari as granting to him that the whole world 
should obey him like the Kheta. 

§ 9. Of his internal administration, the more the monuments 
reveal, the more do we see that the epithet " Great " is, as usual 
in history, but the tribute rendered by tlie weak judgment of men 
to arrogant despotism and barbaric pomp. He shewed it in his 
enormous harem : 170 children were born to him during the 67 
years of his reign ; and one of his wives was his own daughter, Bent 
Anat. A papyrus at Turin, containing the notes of a criminal pro- 
cess, shews the cruelty with which he punished a conspiracy of the 
harem. The sentences pronounced being too mild to please him, 
he ccmimuted them all into death, and beheaded the judges them- 

§ 10. The splendour of his court, and the magnificence of the 
buildings with which he covered all Egypt, were purchased by 
that cruel oppression, not only of the Hebrews, but of the subject 
populations of the Delta, of which we have the true picture in the 
Book of Exodus. 

It appears now — as we shall presently see — placed beyond a doubt 
that the great individual oppressor of the Israelites was Rameses II. ; 
and it is generally agreed by the best modern authorities that the 
persecuting dynasty—** the new king that arose over Egypt " and 


** that knew not Joseph " — was the XIX th rather than the XVmth,^ 
Secure in their conquests abroad, the Thothmeses and Amunophs 
seem to have cherished the Shemites of the Delta as useful subjects ; 
though they doubtless exacted from them the full tribute of their 
fertile lands ; for the extreme harshness of the field labour was a 
feature of the subsequent oppression.^ 

During this period, the children of Israel multiplied so as to 
excite the jealous fears of the Egyptians, lest, seizing the occasion 
of the great Hittite war, they might join the enemy of kindred race, 
and, while adding to the dangers of Egypt, deprive her of a useful 
peasantry .• They were therefore organized into gangs under task- 
masters, as we see in the vivid pictures of the monuments,^^ to work 
upon the public edifices, and especially in building two treasure 
cities, one of which was called by the name of their oppressor. " But 
the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew," and 
so grew the jealousy of the Egyptians." 

The oppression was now redoubled. <* And the Egyptians made the 
children of Israel to serve with rigour. And they made their lives 
bitter with hard hcmdage, in mortar and in brick, and in aU manner 
of service in the fields ^ These means still failing, the diabolical 
expedient of infanticide was attempted, which stamps the character 
of the tyrant, and which prepared its retribution in the training up 
at his own court of the deliverer," who at length led out Israel, while 
Egypt was plagued in her turn and her first-bom were slain.^* 

Critics who distrust the " unerring instinct,** by which any reader of 
the Bible would identify Kameses IT. (or at least some great Barneses) 
with the " Pharaoh " for whom " the children of Israel built treasure 
cities, Pithom and RaamseSy^'^^ have wasted much ingenuity in 

^ Perhaps sufficient notice has not been taken of the distinction between the 
generality of the language in Exodus i. 9, 11, 12, 14 ("he" and "his people'* 
" they" "the Egyptians"), and the individuality of the "Pharaoh" for whom 
" they built Pithom and Rameses," (v. 11), of the infanticide " King of Egypt" 
(ver. 15, 17, 18), and again of "Pharaoh" (ver. 19, 22). » Exodus i. 14. 

^ Exodus i. 7-11. We see a striking confirmation of this in the treaty of 
Rameses with the Hittite King (§ 8, above), which provides that — " If the subjects 
of King Rameses should come to the King of the Hittites, the King of the Hittites 
is not to receive them, but to force them to return to Rameses, the King of 
Egypt " — as if he knew that the one desire of the Semitic population was to 
escape from Egypt and join their brethren at home in their wars against the 
Pharaohs, or rather now to renew those wars. 

»» See above, chap. v. § 17. " Exodus i. 12. ^ Exodus i. 14. 

^' Dr. Brugsch holds that Moses was bom about the 6th year of Rameses II. 
He considers the name to be Egyptian, from mas or moiu (chUd). 

i« The view that the oppression included the foreign populations of the Delta 
generally will help to account for the " mixed multitude," or literally " great 
mixture," that went up out of Egypt with the Israelites, and proved so troublesome 
in the wilderness (Exod. xii. 38 ; Numbers xi. 4). 

i& ^xod. i,\\. Let the ^reader remember that JRhamsea is the Egyptian form : 


explaining away the coincidence of the names ; but the question 
is now set at rest by the distinct testimony of Egyptian literature. 
Papyri of the time of Rameses II. give a glowing description of the 
chain of fortified cities which the hieroglyphics tell us that Per-da 
for Phera-o^* erected from Pelusium to Heliopolis, and of which the 
principal two bore the names of Bhamses and Pactitum ; both situ- 
ated in the present Wady-Tumeilat^ near the sweet-water canal that 
joined the Nile with the Red Sea, along the course of which we 
still find monuments bearing the name of Rameses II. One of these 
documents describes the reception of the king at the city of Rameses, 
in the tenth year of his reign." But this is not all. Tfie very name of 
the Hebrews is officially recorded by their persecutors as the builders of 
the city. In a papyrus preserved in the Museum of Leyden, the scribe 
Kautsir reports to his superior, the scribe Bahen-phthuy that in com- 
pliance with his instructions he has " distributed the rations among 
th€f soldiers, and likewise among the Hebrews {Aberiou or Apuru)^ 
who carry the stones^ the great city cf King Rameses Miamuk, 
the lover of truthy and who are under the orders of the captain of the 
police - soldiers, Ameneman, I distribute the food among them 
monthly, according to the excellent instructions which my lord has 
given me." Similar distinct indications of the people and their state 
of serfdom are found in another Leyden papyrus, and also in the 
long rock inscription of Bamamdt}^ 

§ 11. Nor was the condition of the native peasantry much better. 
Among the precious relics of Egyptian literature is a papyrus con- 
taining a correspondence between Amenemxiny the chief librarian of 
Rameses II., and his pupil, the poet Pentaour, " Have you ever 
figured to yourself," says one of these letters, " what is the life of 
the peasant who tills the land? Even before he has reaped, the 
insects destroy a portion of his crop ; there are multitudes of rats 
in the fields; then come the flights of locusts, the beasts that 
ravage his harvest, the sparrows that settle in flocks upon his 
sheaves. If he is slow to get in what he has reaped, thieves come 
and take it from him : so his horse dies with fatigue in dragging 
the cart. The tax-gatherer arrives at the storehouse of the district, 
having with him officers armed vdth sticks, and negroes armed with 
palm-branches. All cry, * Give us your com,' and he has no means 
of repelling their extortions. Then the wretch is seized, bound, and 

we bare only adopted the more common Greek form Barneses for the sake of 
accentual euphony. 

i< This title, which is usually derived from {Ph)ra {the Sun)f is explained by 
Brugscb as meaning high house. It is at all events an equivalent of " king.** 

^7 This was 11 years before the end of his long war with the Hittites ; whence 
we may infer the object of these fortresses. 

^ Brugsch : * Aus dem Orient,' as quoted above. 



Book I 

carried off to forced labour at the canals : his wife is bound ; hii 
children are stripped of their all. During all this time his neigh 
hours are each at his own work, unable to help, and fearing for hh 
own turn." The Egyptian peasant under **the great'* Ramesei 
was no better off than the fellah under the Mameluke or Turk. 

The mania of Kameses for building could not find an adequate 
supply of labour in Egypt, even in the myriads of captives thai 
worked under the stick, bedewing every brick and stone wit! 
9weat and blood. So the system of slave-hunting was carried on t( 
a vaster extent than ever ; and nearly every year we find records o: 
razzias into Soudan, bringing back thousands of negroes. Rameses II 
appears also to have been the first king of Egypt who practised the 
system, afterwards so common with the Assyrian and BabyloniaE 
conquerors, of deporting whole tribes from one part of his dominions 
to another, settling negroes in Asia and Asiatics in Nubia. 

§ 12. The works of Rameses in architecture and sculpture are 
found along the course of the Nile, from Tanis in the Delta tc 
Napata, the capital of Ethiopia. There is scarcely a ruin or a 
colossal fragment that does not bear his mark ; but, with charac- 
teristic arrogance, he often erased the names of his predecessors 
to substitute his own. Among his greatest buildings are the 
wonderful rock-hewn temples of Ahoit-simhel in Nubia ; at Thebes 
the liameseinn^^ (or Memnonium) at Kurneh, on the walls of which 
arc the sculptured records of his reign ; and a large portion of the 
temple-palaces of Kamak and Luxor ; a small temple at Abydos ; 
besides several works in the Fyum, and at Memphis, where he 
beautified the temple of Phtha, and at Tanis, which was a favourite 
residence of his family. *• 

But the most characteristic of all his works are his colossal 
statues, for the most part portraits of himself. Such are the four 
seated colossi, the largest of all in Egypt except the Sphinx, carved 
in the rock as the frontispiece to the great temple of Abou-simbel. 
Next in size was the colossus, of which the fallen fragments still 
mark the site of the temple of Phtha at Memphis.*** The most beau- 
tiful was the statue, about 60 feet high, which adorned the great court 
of the Ramesenm, and the bust of which was brought to England 
by Belzoni. Every visitor to the British Museum may admire the 
features so finely chiselled, though of so huge a size, marked by 
an expression of dignity, with a quiet smile about the lips charac- 
teristic of the self-satisfied despot As a ix)rtrait, it carries its own 

*• This is the edifice which Diodonu describes as the tomb of Osjrmandyas. 
^ Its Tast proportions may be estimated from ihefist, in the British Moseiim, 
Which mc^ores SS inches in length from the wrist to the knuckle of the middle 
anger, and 80* inches in breadth. A cast of the head is also in the British 
eMuseum : it is less effecUve as a pqrtrait than that frtim the Uameseom. 


evidence, and strikingly resembles a small wooden statue of 
Bameses in the same room. 

§ 13. In these works, the art of Egypt reached its clin^ax, and 
h^an to shew the first symptoms of decline. And so was it also 
with her power. The weakness produced by 60 years of despotism 
shewed itself in the old age of Kameses II. The command of the 
Mediterranean had passed into the hands of the Pelasgo-Tyrrhenians, 
who were allied ^vith a race of Japhetic settlers on the north coast of 
Africa, who had displaced the Hamite race of Phut. These were 
the Lebu or Behu (Libyans) and Mashuash (Maxyes) of the 
Egyptian monuments, which also designate the confederates as 
Tamahou (men of the north) and Tahennou (men of the mists). 
With them were also joined the people of Crete, Sicily, and Sar- 
dinia. Having begun to threaten the coasts of Egypt as early as 
the time of Seti I., their assaults had been repulsed by Rameses U., 
whose armies were recruited by prisoners taken from them ; but in 
his last years they renewed their attacks, and efifectcd settlements 
in the west of the Delta. Under his successor we have the most 
vivid accounts of their ravages, as surpassing anything that Eg}'pt 
had suffered even in the time of the Shepherd Kings. 

§ 14. This state of things, at the accession of Merenphtha or 
MENEPHTflA,^* the 13th son of Rameses II. together with his con- 
flict with Moses, will account for the fact that nearly all his 
monuments are found at Memphis ; a fact which tends to identify 
him with the Pharaoh of the Exodus. At first, indeed, the progress 
of the invaders, who took Heliopolis and Memphis, and advanced as 
far as a town called PaoH, in Middle Egypt, drove him for refuge 
to the Thebaid. Thence he despatched an army under the generals 
of his father, which defeated the Libyans and their allies at Paari. 
An inscription records the losses of the several contingents. The 
mass of the invaders was driven out of Egypt; but lands were 
assigned to some bodies of them in the Delta. 
*" The result of this campaign would naturally lead Menephtha to 
take up his residence in Lower Egypt, chiefly at Memphis, but 
sometimes also at Tanis, which, from its proximity to the land of 
Goshen, is the probable scene of his contest with Moses, when 
" Jehovah did wondrous things in the field of Zoan." ^ It is, how- 
ever, a mistake to suppose that Pharaoh himself perished in the Red 

2^ He is also called Seti Menephtha II, in contradistinction to his grandfather. 
Other readings of his name are Jfenphtha and Phthamen. In Manetho*s list he is 
Ammenephthes, a form which passes into Amenophis in an extract quoted from 
Manetho by Josephus, thus making a confusion with the Amen-hoteps of Dyn . XVIIT. 

^ Psalm IxxviiL 12, 43. All the circumstances of the narrative, and especially 
the point of departure of the Israelites, make it certain that the scene was in 
Lower Egypt. For the story of the contest itself, and of the Exodus, the reader 
is referred U> the * Student's 0. T. History,* chap. xi. 


Sea: the Scripture narrative declares only the destruction of his 
army. Menephtha survived the Exodus, the date of which is pro- 
bably early in his reign, for many years, and was buried in his royal 
tomb, which is one of the most magnificent at Thebes. His reign, 
to which Manetho assigns 20 or (in Euseb.) 40 years, is known from 
the monuments to have lasted at least 30 years. But the state of 
Egypt in his later years, and after his death, confirms one striking 
expression in the Scripture : — " Knowest thou not yet that Egypt is 
destroyed?" The part of the land left vacant by the Israelites 
appears to have been occupied by a new invasion from the side of 
Palestine, the details of which, as quoted from Manetho by Josephus, 
are again obscured (like the story of the Shepherd Kings) by an 
attempt (this time on the part of his antagonist Philo) to connect it 
with the Exodus. 

§ 15. The story is that King Menophis, or Amenophis (but 
Menephtha, the son of Eameses, is evidently meant) resolved to 
propitiate the gods by purging the land of all lepers and unclean 
persons, whom he banished to the eastern hills ; but he afterwards 
gave them the city of Avaris, from which the Shepherds had been 
expelled. They numbered 80,000; and, from the leprous priests 
among them, they chose as their leader an apostate priest of Helio- 
polis, whose name of Osarseph was changed to Moses, He gave them 
new laws, bidding them to disregard the gods and sacrifice the sacred 
animals, and forbidding all intercourse with the Egyptians. He 
fortified Avaris, and called in the aid of the expelled Shepherds, who 
had settled at Jerusalem^ and who advanced to Avaris with an army of 
200,000 men. The king of Egypt marched against them with 
300,000 men, but returned to Memphis through fear of an ancient 
prophecy. He then fled to Ethiopia, whence he returned after an 
absence of 13 years, drove the rebels out of Egypt, and pursued 
them to the confines of Syria. 

The key jjto the story seems to lie in the confusion, already 
mentioned, between Jerusalem (^Kodesh, or Kadtisha, the Hdy), and 
the holy city of the Hittites, Kadesh on the Orontes. The truth 
seems to be that, the calamities attending the Exodus having left 
Lower^Egypt in a state of confusion and of partial revolt, the EJieta 
seized the opportunity for an invasion, before which Menephtha fled 
to Thebes, sending his infant son, Seti, for safety to Ethiopia. 

§ 16. The monuments do not mention the invasion, any more 
than the Exodus ; nor is it the custom of any nation to make 
monumental records of its disastrous defeats. But we learn from 
them that, on the death of Menephtha, and while his young son 
was still in Ethiopia, a prince of the royal family, named 
Ambnmneses (Anmienemnes, M.) assumed the crown at CJiev 
(Aphroditopolis) in the Fyum, and soon recovered most of Egypt 


from the invaders. His son, who assumed the name of Merenphtha 
SiPHTHA,^. sought to legitimate his power by marriage with the 
princess Taosiri, daughter of the late king Merenphtha ; and her 
rights were formally acknowledged, so that on the monuments she 
takes precedence of her husband. The prince Seti was at first 
content with the rank of viceroy of Ethiopia {lioyal Son of Cush), 
but, as soon as he found hims<jlf strong enough, he marched down 
the Nile, took Thebes and Memphis, and regained the throne as 
Seti II. The kings of Chev were now regarded as usurpers, and 
their names erased from the monuments; but Amenmneses and 
Taosiri have a place in the lists of Mauetho, the latter under the 
disguise of a king Thuoris, whom the Greek copyists identify with 
the Polybus of Homer, at the epoch of the fall of Troy. 

Amidst these internal troubles, Egypt was manifestly in no state 
to interfere with Israel's conquest of Canaan, though a land which 
she r^arded as her territory. On the contrary, some of the tribes 
that once obeyed her rose up, in their turn, to oppress Israel in 
the time of the judges. But Egypt had not lost her hold on Syria 
and Mesopotamia, so long as she commanded the route along the 
maritime plain of Palestine ; and this was the very portion of the 
Promised Land that Joshua was not strong enough to attack. The 
Nineteenth Dynasty ends with Seti II., having lasted, according 
to Manetho, 174 years. 

§ 17. Of the Twentieth Dynasty the List of Manetho only says 
that it consisted of twelve Diospolitan (i.e, Theban) kings, who 
reigned 135 years, or, in the Armenian version of Eusebius, 172. 
Their names, now recovered from the monuments, show that they 
claimed descent from the great Barneses of the XlXth Dynasty, and 
adopted his name as an appellation of royalty, like that of Coesar. 
The first of the line, Nekht-Set (whom some call Seti UL), is 
followed by a series of kings, who are all called Kameses, as far as 
Barneses XII., and perhaps even further. The line was ended by a 
sacerdotal usurpation. 

The one great king of this dynasty was Bameses III., whose 
exploits threw a dying lustre over the last years in which Egypt 
had an empire ; but his campaigns, like those of the great Boman 
emperors, were essentially defensive. Their memorial is preserved 
in some of the most splendid of the Egyptian bas-reliefs, in the 
palace-temple of Medinet-Abou, called the southern Bameseum, 

Sir Gardner Wilkinson describes this edifice as " one of the most 
interesting monuments in Thebes, the battle-scenes most spirited, 
and the history of his campaigns most important, and if the style of 
the sculptures is not quite equal to those of Sethi I. and his son, 

^ Also written Phthamen-se-Phtha. 


their designs are full of spirit ; . . . . but the change he matle 
in the mode of sculpturing the figures and hieroglyphics seems to 
have been the prelude to the decadence of art.''^* 

Having been Viceroy of Lower Egypt at Heliopolis under his 
father, Barneses was still young when he came to the throne. In 
his fifth year, Egypt was attacked on the north-western side by the 
Libyans, in league with the Tokari or Zakkaro, apparently a mari- 
time people, but of doubtful locality. Their repulse is the subject 
of three great pictures at MedineUAhou ; but the hieroglyphic text 
is obscure. 

§ 18. A long and more intelligible inscription relates the most 
important of the king's campaigns, in which he recovered the 
dominions of Thothmes III. and Seti I. in Western Asia. The mari- 
time peoples of the Mediterranean, who had been repulsed fi*om the 
western side of the Delta, seem to have chosen a new point of 
assault on the coast of Syria, and to have allied themselves to the 
Kheta. The leaders of the maritime invasion were the Zakkaro 
and the Khairetana or Shairetana, who are supposed to be the same 
as the Cherethim or Cretans, a race allied to the Philistines. 

Eameses anticipated their attack by assailing them in detail, and 
the ensuing war occupies several large pictures. In the first, his 
departure from Thebes is accompanied by a grandiloquent descrip- 
tion ; — " The king starts for the country of Tsahi (Coele-Syria), 
like an image of the god Month, to trample under foot the nations 
that have violated his frontiers. His soldiers are like bulls charging 
flocks of sheep, his horses like hawks in a flock of small birds." 

In the second scene, Eameses marches through several friendly 
countries, and in one place he traverses a mountainous and woody 
country, abounding in lions, probably a spur or advanced range of 
Lebanon. In Coele-Syria he finds the EJieta and their allies in 
force ; among the latter are the Phoenicians of Aradus, the people of 
Oarchemish and the Kalti ; but the Mesopotamians seem to have ' 
kept to their loyalty. He takes by escalade several fortified towns, 
some of them surrounded by water, and defended by double walls ; 
and finally defeats the enemy in a great battle in the valley of the 
Orontes. " I have blotted out," he says, " these nations and their 
country, as if they had never been." 

He now turns to meet the maritime invaders, who had already- 
disembarked, and are seen advancing along the coast in the guise of 
a migrating nation, their women and children carried" in waggons 
drawn by oxen. They are composed of the Shairetana and the 
Lehu (or Bebu), the Mashtiash or Maxyes of Libya.' Their 
utter defeat is followed by a calculation of the slain, represented by 

2* In BawUnson's 'Herod.,' vol. ii. pp. 372-3. 


several heaps of hands, 12,500 in all, while the prisoners are drawn 
up in two lines, each of 1000 men. On the scene of his victory, the 
king erected a fort called " the Tower of Rameses ;" and here, joined 
by his fleet, which " appeared upon the waters like a strong wall," he 
awaited the arrival of the next body of the foes by sea. These 
consisted principally of the Zakkaro, with whom were joined 
Libyans, Sicilians, Sardinians, Tyrrhenians, and (if ^ve may trust 
the interpreters) Greeks from the Peloponnesus, called no longer 
Achseans (as in the time of Menephtha) but Danai*. The sea-fight 
off the tower of Rameses fonns one of the grandest bas-reliefs on the 
Egyptian monuments. The ships of Rameses, ornamented with a 
lion's head upon each prow, have shut in the enemy's fleet between 
themselves and the lofty shore, whence the soldiers, commanded by 
the king himself, hurl showers of missiles. In a long inscription 
Rameses vaunts the prowess of his soldiers ; and especially his own : 
as for his enemies, " they will reap no more harvests in this world ; 
the time of their soul is counted in eternity,"^ 

But the war was followed by an arrangement disastrous for the 
power of Egypt. The prisoners taken in the first victory, chiefly of 
Philistine race, were settled in the maritime plain of Palestine, 
where this new population aided the rise of the confederacy which 
soon gained power as the Egyptians lost theirs. The bas-reliefs of 
Medinet-Abou represent other campaigns of Rameses in Asia and 
Africa, and an inscription records the tribute brought to him by the 
people of the south and other regions ; vessels of gold and silver, bags 
of gold-dust, objects made of various metals, lapis-lazuli, and all sorts 
of precious stones. The deposit of all this wealth in his treasury at 
Thebes reminds us of the curious story of Herodotus about the 
treasury of Rhampsinitus and the cleverest of all thieves.^ The 
vast subterranean tomb of Rameses III. is one of the finest in the 
Biban-el-Molook at Thebes. 

§ 19. Rameses IV. seems to have succeeded to the full power of 
his father, and to have died without leaving a son. Then follow at 
least three younger sons of Rameses III., all bearing the same 
name, not without indications of rivalry and of partitions' of the 

Rameses VIII., whose descent is traced by a different line from 
Amunoph I., appears to have restored the unity of Egypt, and to 
have maintained her foreign empire. He made some additions to 
the great temple at Karnak, and we have historical papyri of his 
reign. His face, conspicuous for the high bridge of the nose, fur- 

25 The naval battle, which is thus depicted before our eyes, must be dated 
between 500 and 600 years earlier than the sea-fight between the Corinthians and 
Corcyrseans which the Greek historians considered as the first on record. 
. «• Herod, ii. 121. - . -- 


nishes one of the most decisive pi'oofs that the effigies of the 
Egyptian kings are real portraits. 

He is followed by a succession of other Rameses (some say six or 
even more), of whom we know little more than of the long 
evanescent lin6 of kings shown in vision to Macbeth ; and with them 
the empire of Egypt recedes to a vanishing point. She succumbed 
to the |inherenl weakness of all despotisms, and even her7 foreign 
conquests hastened her decay. Asia revenged herself by inroads 
upon that exclusive nationality which was Egypt's strength. Semitic 
words had appeared in her language, foreign gods in her inaccessible 
sanctuaries. And now the sacerdotal power attempted to restore 
itself on the ruins of the royal authority that had held it in -check. 
Strong in their corporate character and their hereditary functions, 
the high-priests of Ammon, after assuming all the civil and military 
offices of the kingdom, ended by usurping the crown. But the 
process was long and gradual. As late as the time of Eameses XII. 
we find Mesopotamia still tributary to Egypt, as is seen by a curious 
tale recorded on a stela found at Thebes, some incidents of which 
have a resemblance to points of Scripture history. 

While passing through Mesopotamia to collect his tribute, the 
king was captivated by the beauty of a cljief s daughter, and mar- 
ried her. Some time afterwards, in the fifteenth year of Rameses, 
the chieftain came to Thebes, to ask the services of one of the king's 
physicians for his younger daughter, who was possessed by an evil 
spirit. The spirit proved stronger than the physician ; and eleven 
years later the father made another journey to Thebes, to seek more 
effectual aid from the gods of Egypt. The king granted him the 
use of the ark of the god Clumsy which reached Mesopotamia after a 
journey of eighteen months, and the desired cure was at once 
wrought. But the Mesopotamian prince was imwilling to part 
with so potent a talisman ; till, after three years and three quarters, 
a dream, in which he saw the god fly back to Egypt in the form of 
a golden hawk, showed that he could not retain him against his will. 
So the ark was sent back to Egypt, in the thirty-third year of the 
reign of Rameses. The whole tenor of the story shows how loosely 
the authority of Rameses sat upon his Mesopotamian vassal. 

§ 20. In fact, we have now reached the period when the Assyrian 
monarchy of Nineveh, established since the beginning of the four- 
teenth century B.C., was consolidating itself behind the Euphrates, 
though not yet strong enough to pass that boundary ; while, nearer 
home, the Philistines had barred the great military road to Asia, 
and for a time obtained the mastery which Egypt had once held in 
Canaan. It was at this epoch, when Egypt was thrown back within 
her natural limits, that the high-priest of Ammon at Thebes, Heb- 
HoB, "the supreme Horus," assumed the crown of the Pharaohs. 


To estabUsh his power at home, it seems that the new ruler gave upall 
daim to dominion in Asia, ss the price of an alliance witi the power 
now ruling at Nineveh. Hence probahly the Assyrian names which we 
find in his family and the following dynasties. After his death, the old 
line^of Thebes appears to have regained power for a time; and Piankh 
(or Pionkh), the son of Her-Hor, l>earB only the title of higb-prieat. 
Bnt the royal title revives with his son, Finetsem I. (or Pisham), 
and is continued throagh several generations of |>ricBt-kiDga, who 
also appear as the heads of the military class, by tlic title of " Com< 
mander of the Soldiers" (or "Archers"). The jxiwer of the new 
line was I^itimated by a marriage with the princess Isi~em-Chtv, a 
descendant of the competitors of Scti II., and the house and name of 
the Barneses finally disappears. 

It has been doubted wliether these priest - kings formed the 
Tiaenfy-first (Jhniie) Dynasty of Manetho, or whether the latter 
was one of the old rival houses of Lower Egypt, wliich seized the 
opportunity of the troubles attending the fall of the Theban line to 
establish itself at Tanis. In favour of the former hypothesis is the 
resemblance of the names of Eer-IIor, Piankh, and rineleem, to 
Oiochor, Psinacke3, and Peouennes, who stand in Uanctho's list as 
the last three of the seven kings of tlie twenty-first dynasty. 
Perhaps we may reconcile the two views by supposing that the 
priest-kings obtained a place in the Taiiite dynasty by marriage ; 
and this adoption of the claims of a monarchy ia Lower Egypt, 
ti^ther with their Assyrian alliance, would confirm their power 
a^nst the legitimate Theban line. 


DYNASTY— DYNASTIES XXI.-XXV.— b.c. 1100 (abodt) 

. Twmlyfirit Dynaitii. Trmsfcr o 


capital from Thebci to Tanis. Coo- 

wish history. 

Uliance of a Tanita 

n. Comra 

« Egypt and Ju 

B-a. § 2. Origin of 

of Zoao and Hebron. 

B> a fgrlrcM. § 4. 

ce of the 

Thebin k 

Qg>. The capiti 

1 of the XXUt and 

5 = 

e niina and plui 

of M. Mariette. 

■§ a. The 



<md (Ji.iojSfe) 

DynaUg. MlUtarv 

ndyenlurers of A 

Syrian oripn. 

§ ' 

Ji^Mfi., the Mcred city of Paiht. 

Temple and fesUv 

ruins at TeJ-JsK 

a. §9. BhhbokkI., 


ner. Kehoboam and 

lary. Nai 

D.B of J<ida 

^ on hiB moniun 

on involyed in 

tho'defeit DfZerah 

the Ethiopian by 

Aia King 

of Jud 


Kingdom of Na 

patfl. Prieita of Ibe 

BuhiBtite house, g 10. licenli/'tliird (Ihnite) Dyiuaiy. Rival Kinga of 
Loner and Middle Egypt- iQTuion of the Ethiopian Flankh. Tnephachlhni, 
ofSoia. Bit curse on Menea. § 11. BoiEHiiHr or Boccaoaii, aole king of 
the Twtnty-fovrlli {SaiU) Dynatly. Greek traditions of hla character. He ia 
conquered imd butnt alive hy Babaeo the Elhloplan. § U. The Ttoimly-JifiK 
(SEAujium) Dymxily. Account of Ethiopia. Heme. Nifiti. Its wealtb. 
Euins of Jebel-Berktl. g 13, Ethiopia under the Egyptian rule. Kingdom 
of NapaU. Affinity of the two atates. Umlted eSMt; of the Ethioplaii 
conquest, g 14. The kingi of the XZVth dynafty. Sibaco I. aids Tloshca, 


Kin; of Isnd. Captore of SaiiiarU bj tergon. Conqaett of SyrU eUimed 
hj Sahaco. Afsjiiaa aeeooDt ; Saigon's rktory at Raphia ; defeat aad ilif ht 
of Safaaeo. § 15. Sabaoo IL Sargon's mentioa of a " Kharaoh.'* War of 
AAhdod. The ''King of Ethiopia " makes peace with Sargon. § 16. Sen- 
naeherxb's Jewish campaigo. His rictory at Altaku. State of Egypt at this 
time. Deatiuetiofi of Sennacherib's army. Egyptian rersion of the miracle : 
Toe priest'^dng Sethos of Herodotus. § 17. TAa-HAKA or TimnAKAH. His 
conquests ccnnpared with those ot Sesostus. Long and flactuating conflict 
with Assyria. New light from the Assyrian annals. § 1 8. His son Rotxp.:* 
driren out by Asshnr-bani-pal. Disastrous inrasion of Egypt. Sack of 
Thebes. § 19. Prophecies <k Isaiah and Nahom. § 20. New inrasion and 
retirement of the Ethiopian Amen-meri-Noot. Betirement both of the Assyrians 
and the Ethiopians. 

§ 1. The transfer of the sceptre, under the Twenty-fint Dynasty^ 
hom Thebes to Taxis, the new capital of Lower Egypt, forms an 
ei^cich of great importance. The separate currents of the Egyptian, 
A^yrian, and Jewish annals now converge into the stream of uni- 
rersal history ; and we at length obtain a basis of chronology. 

During the decline of Egypt, and before Assyrian conquests were 
carried west of the Euphrates, the newly-founded kingdom of Israel 
Lad fought out its hard conflict with the Philistines ; and David, 
liaving subdued his enemies on every side, left to his son, Solomon 
(th£ ** peaceful "), a real empire, the greatest at this time in Wi-stcrn 
A:fla, occupying the region promised to Abraham 

" from the bordering flood 
Of old Euphrates to the stream that iiarts 
Egypt firom Syrian groond." 

The building of Solomon's temple, on the hill of Jerusalem, 
recovered by David from the Jebusites, marks a fixed epoch in 
chronology, — the millennium before the birth of Christ.* Now, in 
the eariy part of his reign, Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh, 
king of Egypt, and married his daughter,' and since we shall pre- 
sently find, by the double testimony of Scripture and the monu- 
ments, Shishak, the first King of the 22nd dynasty, harbouring the 
enemies of Solomon and invading Judah under Rehoboam, it follows, 
almost to deanonstration, that the ally of Solomon was one of the 
last kings of the 21st dynasty. The presentation by Pharaoh to his 
flaoghter of the site of Gezar^ between Jaffa and Jerusalem, which 
he had taken from the Canaanites and destroyed, and which Solo- 
mon rebuilt and fortified,' seems to indicate, fixst that the kings of 

' The Epoch of the Destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar is fixed so 
aeeorately, by a oonenrrenoe of proofe from sacred and secular hisfory, that the 
limits of doubt lie within two years, between b.c. 588 and 586 ; and the Babylonian 
Canon decides for the latter date. Beckoning backwards by the Jewish annals, 
we hare a margin of only fifteen years of doubt in the period from the building of 
the Tem|de to its destruetion. The highest date for the former is b.c 1027 ; the 
rccciTed dates are B.C. 1005 for its completion, b.c. 1012 for its commencement, 
and B.C. 1015 tar the aeeeision of Solomon. 

t 1 King* iiL 1 ; TiL 8; ix. 24. * 1 King« ii^ X^ATk . 


Egypt had recovered their hold upon the route to Asia by the 
maritime plain, and, secondly, that this last remnant of their sove- 
reignty over Palestine and its neighbourhood was now surrendered 
as the price of Solomon's alliance. 

The protection involved in that sovereignty had been exercised 
during the reign of David, in the case of Hadad, an Edomite prince, 
who had been carried as an infant to Egypt, after escaping from the 
massacre of Joab, and had received in marriage the sister of Tah- 
penes, the queen of Pharaoh.* The total silence of Scripture about 
the history and state of Egypt, from the Exodus to the time of 
Solomon, proves at least the absence of active hostility ; and Solomon 
carried on a steady commerce with Egypt in linen yam, and in horses 
and chariots : the latter he not only imported for his own use, but 
sold them to the kings of the Hittites and of Syria. The price of a 
chariot, as it came from Egypt, was 600 silver shekels, and of each 
horse 150 shekels.* We may well pause to notice the change from the 
time when the Theban kings fought against the chariots of the Hit- 
tites and their Syrian allies, to that when these nations were sup- 
plied Avith chariots from Egypt through the medium of a great 
commercial empire, founded by a people once her slaves. The old 
maritime power of Egypt, both in the Mediterranean and the Red 
Sea, w^hich had long declined or ceased, was now superseded by the 
commerce carried on by the fleets of Solomon, in conjuncti(m with 
those of Tyre, from the ports of Joppa on the one side, and of Elath 
and Ezion-Geber on the other. 

§ 2. The revival of a monarchy of Lower Egypt at Tanis, rather 
than at Memphis, may be easily accounted for by the importance 
which the latter city had acquired under the Shepherds and the kings 
or the XVIIIth and XlXth Dynasties. Tanis is the Greek form 
of the Semitic name Zoan (in modern Arabic San), which signifies 
a pldce of removal, doubtless as being the point of departure for 
caravans on the eastern frontier. This sense is confirmed by the 
Egyptian name HA-AWAR or PA- A WAR {house (f going forth or 
departure), the Avaris (Oi/apty) of Manetho's story of the Shepherd 
Kings. The Scripture has assigned its date with a precision such 
as few of the oldest cities of the world can claim : — " Hebron was 
built seven years before Zoan in Egypt." * This statement shows 
a knowledge of the origin of both cities, which was most probably 

* 1 Kings xi. 14-22. As the name of Tahpenes has not been fonnd on the 
monuments, we cannot identify this Pharaoh. The reluctance with which Pharaoh 
allowed Hadad to return to Edom may have been a tribute to the obligations of 
the alliance with Solomon ; but it is not clear whether this Pharaoh was the last 
of the Tanites, or Shishak, the first of the 22nd dynasty, who protected Jeroboam 
against Solomon. See further in the * Diet, of the Bible,' ». v. Tahpenes. 

B 1 Kings X. 28, 29. At the value of 3«. for the shekel each chariot would 
post 90/., and each horse 2^1. 10a. « Numbers xiii. 2^, 


'ieriverl from the resilience of Abraliam at Hebron (then KirjfUh' 
Arhfiy the City of Arba^ a name curioutfly like Awar^ ; and the two 
cities would hardly have been thus coroparc<l had there not been 
^ime connection in their origin. Now Hebron was under the niht 
of the Anakim, who were of the old warlike Palestinian race that 
kng dominate^l over the southern Canaanites. The Shepherds who 
boilt Ayaris were apparently of the Phcenician stock, which was 
referred to the same race. Hebron was already built in Abraham *ri 
time, and the Shepherd invasion may be date#l about the same 
period. Hence, whether or not, as Manetho states, s^^me older 
Tillage or city was succeeded by Avaris, its building and fortifica- 
tion by the Shepherd Kings forms the true beginning of the history 
of the city of Tanis. 

§ 3. Its site was a^lmirably chosen for their great fortress.^ Like 
the other principal cities of this tract, — Pelusium, Bubastis, and 
Heliopolis, — it lay on the east bank of the river, towards Syria, its 
mins are situate in Sl° N. latitude and 31^ b' £. longitude, on the 
eastern bank of the canal which was formerly the Tanitic branch of 
the Nile. Anciently a rich plain extended due east as far as Pelu- 
sium, about 30 miles distant, gradually narrowing trj wards the cast, 
so that in a direction S.E. from Tanis it was not more than half 
this breadth. The whole of this plain was known as the fields or 
jdaintf the marshes or jfosture^lands (BucUia), Anciently, it was 
rich marsh-land, watered by four of the seven branches of the Nile, 
and swept by the cool breezes of the Mediterranean ; but, through 
the subsidence of the coast, it is now almost covere^^l by the great 
lake MemciUh, 

The city, lying outside of tlie main line of defence along the Nile, 
afforded a protection to the cultivated lands to the east, and an 
obstacle to an invader ; while to retreat from it was always possible, 
so long as the Egyptians held the river. But Tanis was too far 
inland to be properly the frontier fortress. It was near enough to 
be the place of departure for caravans — perhaps it was the last town 
in the Shepherd-period — ^but not near enough to command the 
entrance of Egypt. Pelusium lay upon the great road to Palestine 
— it has been, until lately, phK^ too far north — and the plain was 
here narrow from north to south, so that no invader could safely 
pass the fortress ; but it soon became broader, and, by turning in a 

' Mr. Foofe, wboie tceoont of Tanis we mainlf follow (< Diet, of the Bible,' 
art. ZoAsr), points oat tbe eaiition with which Maaetho't atatement of the policy of 
tbe^ Shepherds most he reeeired : — '* Throaghoat, we trace the influence of the 
pride that made tbe Egyptians hate, and affect to despise, the Shepherds abore 
aU their eonqoerors, exeept the Persians. The motire of Salatis (in building 
ATaris) is not to orerawe Egypt, but to keep out the Assyrians ; not to terrify the 
natf Tea, but these foreigners, who, if other history be correct, did not then form 
nn important state." 


south-westerly direction, an advancing enemy would leave Tanis 
far to the northward, and a bold general would detach a force 
to keep its garrison in check, and march upon Heliopolis and 
Memphis. An enormous standing militia, settled in the Bucolia, 
as the Egyptian militia afterwards was in the neighbouring tracts of 
the Delta, and with its head-quarters at Tanis, would overawe 
Egypt, and secure a retreat in case of disaster, besides maintaining 
hold of some of the most productive land in the country ; and mainly 
for the two former objects we believe Avaris to have been fortified. 

§ 4. After the expulsion of the Shepherds, Tanis would naturally 
continue of importance to the kings of the XVIIIth and XlXth 
dynasties, both for their maritime operations in the Mediterranean 
and for their expeditions into Asia. " Although Thebes continued 
to be the place in which the splendour of the monarchy was chiefly 
displayed, and where the sovereigns held their court during inter- 
vals of peace, they must have needed a residence in that part of 
Lower Egypt which was nearest to the scene of their most important 
operatfons. That it should be at the same time not very distant 

from the sea was also necessary And, as the eastern branches 

of the Nile one after another became silted' up, it is probable that 
even in this age the Pelusiac mouth may have been too shallow to 
admit ships of war." * 

We have seen that Tanis received the special care of Kameses II., 
and that " the field of Zoan ** was the scene of his son's contest 
with God's prophet.® It is well worthy of remark that the season 
of the plagues and Exodus (the beginning of harvest, at the vernal 
equinox) was the very time of the year at which the Shepherd Kings 
were wont to visit their armies at Avaris. The custom may have 
been kept up ; and thus Menephtha would have had his frontier 
militia ready for the pursuit of the Israelites. The position of 
Tanis would be alike valuable in the naval and Asiatic wars of 
Barneses III., and for the commerce carried on with Solomon by the 
XXIst dynasty, which, at length made it the capital of Egypt. 

That dignity was transferred to Bubastis under the XXTInd 
dynasty, whose aboUtion of the worship of Set or Soutekh must have 
given a great blow to Tanis ; and it may have been a religious war 
that re-established the latter as the capital of the XXIIIrd dynasty. 
In this position it appears in the contemporary Hebrew prophecies. 
" The princes of Zoan, the wise counsellors of Pharaoh," are named 
by Isaiah before " the princes of Noph " (Memphis).^° At a later 

" Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,* vol, ii. p. 341. 

' Psalm Ixxviii. 12, 43 : where the word field may mean territory, nome, or' 
even kingdom. 

*• Isaiah, xix. 11, 13., comp. xxx. 4, where Mr. PoQle takes Hane9 for Taht 
panhes (Daphnte) not Heracleopolis, 

Chap. VII. RUINS OF TANIS AT sIn. 117 

time Ezekiel predicts the destruction of Zoan by fire as a conse- 
quence of the invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar;" but long 
before this blow the capital had been transferred to Sa'is under the 
XXIVth dynasty. -In the time of Strabo Tania was still a large 
town, the capital of a nome ; " in the age of Titus it was a small 

§ 5. The site of this ancient capital is described by Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson as " remarkable for the height and extent of its mounds, 
which are upwards of a mile from N. to S., and nearly three-quarters 
of a mile from B. to W. The area, in which the sacred enclosure 
of the temple stood, is about 1500 feet by 1250, surrounded by 
momids of fallen houses. The temple was adorned by Rameses II. 
with numerous obelisks and most of its sculptures. It is very 
ruinous, but its remains prove its former grandeur. The number of 
its obelisks, ten or twelve, all now fallen, is unequalled, and the 
labour of transporting them from Syene shows the lavish magni- 
ficence of the Egyptian kings. The oldest name found here is that 
of Sesertesen III. of the Xllth dynasty ; the latest that of Tirhakah. 
The plain of San is very extensive, but thinly inhabited : no village 
exists in the immediate vicinity of the ancient Tanis ; and, when 
looking from the mounds of this once splendid city towards the dis- 
tant palms of indistinct villages, we perceive the desolation spread 
around it. * The field of Zoan ' is now a barren waste : a canal 
passes through it without being able to fertilize the soil ; * fire ' has 
been 'set in Zoan;' and one of the principal capitals or royal 
abodes of the Pharaohs is now the habitation of fishermen, the resort 
of wild beasts, and infested with reptiles and malignant fevers." 
Its desolation and unhealthiness caused it to be neglected by ex- 
plorers, till the task was undertaken by M. Mariette, whose 
researches have already thrown immense light on the history of the 
Shepherd Kings. 

§ 6. The same indefatigable explorer has recovered, from the 
Apis-stelaB and the Serapeum at Memphis, the true order of the 
nine kings whom Manetho assigns to the Tufenty- Second DynaMy, 
of Bubastis, With one exception {Eer'sha-seli), they all bear the 
distinctly Assyrian names of Sheshonk, Osorchon (the same as 
Sargon), and TiMat or Tiglath or Takeloth {Tigulti in pure Assy- 
rian)." They were a military dynasty, sprung (like the Mame- 
lukes) from the king's body-guard ; and the history of their accession 
is now known from the monuments. A certain officer named Sargon, 
who was posted at Bubastis, being already allied by marriage to 
the royal sacerdotal line of Her-Hor, appears to have married the 
daughter of the last king of the XXIst dynasty. Their son, 

>i Ezek. XXX. 14. " Strabo, xvii. p. 802. " Joseph. *Bell. Jud.' iv. 11. 
14 This is said to be identical with the old Assyrian name of the river Ti^s. 




Sheshonk, having been adopted *by his grandfather, became at fi 
regent, and afterwards king. 

§ 7. Buhastis (or JBiibastus), the seat of the new dynasty, \ 
the sacred city of the goddess by whose name simply it is usua 
denoted in the hieroglyphics, BA-HEST or BAST .« This godd 
was the same as Pasht, the goddess of fire. The cat was sacred 
her, and she is represented by a lion-headed figure : cats were bur 
at Bubastis. The Greeks identified her with Artemis,^* whence ] 
rock-hewn temple near JBeni-hassan was called Speos Artemidos (i 
Gave of Artemis) ; and her oracle at Bubastis was very popular w 
the Greek visitors to Egypt. Though the city was scancient, tl 
Mahetho mentions it as the scene of a most destructive earthqu£ 
in the time of Boethus, or Bochus, the first king of the Seco 
Dynasty, it does not appear in history till the accession of 1 
Twenty-second Dynasty, whose foreign origin and policy accou] 
for their choice of it as their capital. 

Bubastis was situate about half way up the Pelusiac or Bubast 
branch of the Nile, on the route of an invader marching firom 1 
East againist Heliopolis and Memphis, and a little below the moi: 
of the Red Sea canal.^'' The city seems to have reached the heig 
of its prosperity shortly before the Persian Invasion ; and Herodol 
takes pains to describe ii.^ It was raised, he says, more than a 
other city above the inundation by the embankments constructs 
first by those who dug the canals in the time of Sesostris, and aft 
wards by the criminals whom the Ethiopian Sabaco condemned 
this sort of labour. Of the temple of "Bubastis'* as he calls i 
goddess, he says, " Other temples may be grander, and may ha 
cost more in the building, but there is none so pleasant to the c 
as this of Bubastis. . . . Excepting the entrance, the whole fon 
an island. Two artificial channels from the Nile, one on either si 
of the temple, encompass the building, leaving only a narrow passa 
by which it is approached. These channels are each a hundi 
feet wide, and are thickly shaded with trees. The gateway is six 
feet in height, and is ornamented with figures cut upon the stoi 
six cubits high and well worthy of notice. The temple stands 
the middle of the city, and is visible on all sides as one walks rou: 
it ; for, as the city has been raised up by embankment, while t 
temple has been left untouched in its original condition, you lo 

^* Also with the prefix IIA-BAHEST, which appears to have been the sac: 
form. It seems to have been by prefixing the masculine definite article that 1 
name became PA-BAHEST the [city) of Pasht, whence the Hebrew JPi-bes 
(Ezek. XXX. 17 : Bov^wrroj LXX.), the Coptic Pi-Bast, Poubast, Pouasti, Boua 
and the Greek and Latin Bubastis (Bov'^a<m5, Herod.), orfBubastus {Bwfiwn 
Strabo, Diod., Plin., Ptol.). There is a similar variety in the*name of HA-HE8ii 
the Coptic^oMwrt and Pouairi, and the Greek and Latin Bovaipw, Busiria. 
Herod, ii. 137. " Herod, li. 158. w Herod, ii. 137, 188. 

Ohap. VIL J'ESTiVAL of BlTBAStlS. 119 

down upon it wheresoever you are. A low wall runs round the 
enclosure, having figures engraved upon it, and inside there is a 
grove of beautiful tall trees growing sound the shrine which contains 
the image of the goddess. The enclosure is a furlong in length and 
the same in breadth. The entrance to it is by a road paved with 
stone for a distance of about three furlongs, which passes straight 
through the market-place, with an easterly direction, and is 400 feet 
in width. Trees of an extraordinary height grow on each side the 
road, which conducts from the temple of Bubastis to that of Hennes." 

In another passage" he describes the festival of Bubastis as the 
best attended of all the yearly local feasts of Egypt ; the proceedings 
being as follows : — " Men and women come sailing all together, 
vast numbers in each boat, many of the women with castanets, 
which they strike, while some of the men pipe during the whole 
time of the voyage ; the remainder of the voyagers, male and female, 
sing the while, and make a clapping with their hands. When they 
arrive opposite any of the towns upon the banks of the stream, 
they approach the shore, and, while some of the women continue to 
play and sing, others call aloud to the females of the place and load 
them with abuse, while a certain number dance, and some standing 
up uncover themselves. After proceeding in this way all along the 
river course, they reach Bubastis, where they celebrate the feast 
with abundant sacrifices. • More grape-wine ^ is consumed at this 
festival than in all the rest of the year besides. The number of 
those who attend, counting only the men and women, and omitting 
the children, amounts according to the native reports to 700,000." 

§ 8. The great mounds of Td-Basta (the hill of Paskt) confinn 
the description of Herodotus: — "The height of the mound, the 
site of the temple in a low space beneath the houses, from which 
you look down upon it, are the very peculiarities any one would 
remark on visiting the remains at TeUBasta, The street, which 
Herodotus mentions as leading to the temple of Mercury, is quite 
apparent, and his length of three stadia faUs short of its real length, 
which is 2250 feet. On the way is the square he speaks of, 900 
feet from the temple of Pasht, and apparently 200 feet broad, 
though now much reduced in size by the fallen materials of the 
houses that surrounded it. Some fallen blocks mark the position of 
the temple of Mercury ; but the remains of that of Pasht are rather 
more extensive, and show that it measured about 600 feet in length. 
We may readily credit the assertion of Herodotus respecting its 
beauty, since the whole was of the finest red granite, and was sur- 
rounded by a sacred enclosure about 600 feet square (agreeing with 
the stadium of Herodotus), beyond which was a larger circuit, mea- 

»» Herod, ii. 59, 60. 

'0 In contradistinction to harley-winet which was largely made in Egypt. 


snring 940 feet by 1200, containing the minor one and the canal 
he mentions, and once planted, like the other, with a grove of trees. 
In this perhaps was the usual lake belonging to the temple. Among 
the sculptures are the names of a goddess (who may be ekher 
Pasht or Buto), and of Remcses 11., of Osorkon I., and of AmyrtaBus 
( ? ) ; and as the two first kings reigned long before the visit of Hero- 
dotus, we know that the temple was the one he saw. The colunms of 
the vestibule had capitals representing the buds of water-plants, but 
near the old branch of the river (the modem canal of Moez) is another 
column with a palm-tree capital, said to have been taken from this 
temple, which has the names of Remeses II. and Osorkon I. Amidst 
the houses on the north-west side are the thick walls of a fort, which 
protected the temple below ; and to the east of the town is a large 
open space, enclosed by a wall now converted into mounds." *^ The 
two royal names found upon these remains afford another proof of 
the care of Rameses II. for the cities of Lower Egypt, and also 
connect the temple of Bubastis with the Twenty-second Dynasty. 

§ 9. We now meet with one of the most important synchronisms 
between sacred and secular history. Shebhonk I., the first Pharaoh 
who is mentioned in Scripture hy his personal name^ is also the 
first on whose monuments we read the name of the Jewish kingdom, 
A new military dynasty of Asiatic origin would naturally revise 
the claim of Egypt to suzerainty over Palestine ; and opportunities 
were offered by the decUning power of Solomon and the weakness 
of his headstrong son. First we find Pharaoh permitting the return 
of the Edomite prince, Hadad, to reclaim his birth-right.^^ Next 
Jeroboam, flying for his life from Solomon, is received by the king 
of Egypt, whose name Shishak (i,e, S^eshonk) is now expressly 
mentioned ; ® and he starts from Egypt at the invitation of the ten 
tribes.^ That he returned as a vassal of Egypt, is a fact implied 
in his being allowed to depart, and con6rmed by his setting up the 
worship of the Egyptian gods at the two ends of his kingdom.*^ 
This by no means involved hostilities between Egypt and Judah, 
except, perhaps, in the case of the latter attacking Israel, — an 
attempt contemplated by the headstrong Rehoboam, but forbidden 
by a prophet.^ 

It was not till Rehoboam proved his resolution to reject the 
friendship as well as the suzerainty of Egypt by fortifying and 
garrisoning the cities of southern Judah, and even of the maritime 

21 Sir G. Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 138, Rawlinson. 

« 1 Kings xi. 14-22. 23 i Kings xi. 40. 

24 1 Kings xii. 2, 3 ; 2 Ghron. x. 2, 3. Hence it appears that Jeroboam's 
rebellion involved the guilt so constantly denounced by the prophets as " looking 
back to Egypt," " going down for aid to Egypt," and so forth ; and thus the 
schismatic kingdom of Israel was tainted from its origin with vassalage to Egypt. 

2* 1 Kings xii. 28, 29 ; 2 Chron. xi. 15. 

2« I Kings xii. 21-24 ; 2 Chron. xi. 1-4. 


plain,^ that Shishak inarched against him, in the fifth year of bis 
reign,*^ with 1200 war-chariots, 60,000 cavalry, and an immense 
body of infantry, composed of Libyans {Lubim), Sukkiimy and 
Ethiopians.^ After reducing the newly fortified places, Shishak 
advanced to Jerusalem, where, under the direction of the prophet, 
Eehoboam and the princes of Judah made unreserved submission ; * 
and Shishak, entering the city, carried off the treasures of the 
temple, and the golden shields dedicated by Solomon. It is quite 
in accordance with the policy of Egypt towards her vassals that 
Behoboam, having made this submission, ''strengthened himself 
in Jerusalem, and reigned," while " in Judah things went well ; " and 
that Pharaoh abstained from interference during his unceasing 
war with Jeroboam."^ Such is the history in the Jewish records : 
now let us turn to the Egyptian. 

In a great bas-relief on the outer wall of the hypostyle hall of 
Kamak, a Pharaoh, with his name appended — Amunmai (or Mia^ 
man) Sheshonk ^ — depicted, as usual, of gigantic size, stands before 
the god Amun-re, who with one hand holds out to him a scimitar, 
and with the other leads up, by cords passed round their necks, five 
rows of bound figures, emblematic of conquered cities: for each 
figure is covered (except the head) by an embattled shield, inscribed 
with its name. There are thirteen shields in each row, making 65 ; 
and on the same wall a goddess holds, in like manner, four cords, 
with 17 shields attached to each; in all 113 shields. The first 
of the rows is distinguished by the lotusy the symbol of the south ; 
the second by the papyrus, the symbol of the north. Several of the 
shields refer to Ethiopia and Libya, countries of which Shishak was 
master, since their people marched with him against Rehoboam. 
Among the rest are a large number of cities of Judah, well known 
from Scripture; confirming the statement, that Shishak "took 
the fenced cities which pertained to Judah." ^ The most important 
figure bears the inscription " Jehouada-Malek," with the usual 
character for land. The identification is equally clear, whether we 
read the phrase, with some, " the Land of the King of Judah/* or, 
with others " Judah the royal (city) of tJie land" 

« 2 Chron. xi. 5-12. 

^ 1 Kings xiv. 25, 26. b.c. 971 of the received chronology. 

^ 2 Chron. zii. 2, seq. The SukkUin seem to have heen the Troglodyto) {cave* 
dwellers) on the W. shore of the Ked Sea, ivhere there was a town ealled Suche, 
prohahly the modern Suakin (Plin. *H. N.' vi. 34). They were skilful slingers, 
and very useful as light troops (Ueliod. *JEth.' viii, IC). Kenrick, * Ancient 
Egypt,* vol. ii. p. 348, note. h:^A: 

•* The words in 2 Chron. xii. 8 clearly imply a state of vassalage — " Never-* 
thcless they shall he his servants ; that they may know (the difference between) 
my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries." 

•* 1 Kings xiv. 30 ; xv. 6. 

32 Here we see Sheshonk using the surname of Rameses II., <* beloved of 
Ammon," bat only as a praenomen. '^ 2 Chron. xii. 4. 


There is no reason to believe that Sheshonk's expedition extended 
beyond Judah. The Assyrian kingdom was now fully established ; 
and the smaller but powerful Syrian kingdom had lately been 
established by Bezon at Damascus.^ In spite of the parade he has 
made of his conquests *'in the long list of places, amounting to 
more than thirty times the number of those previously recorded by 
the great Egyptian conquerors, they have not," as Wilkinson observes, 
" the same importance, from the mention of large districts, as the 
older lists ; and none of these conquests, on which the older Pharaohs 
justly prided themselves, are here mentioned. We look in vain for 
CarcJiemish, Naharayn^ or the Bot-h-noP^ Manetho assigns 21 
years to Sesonchis ; and a stele of his 21st year records his excava- 
tions in the quarries at Silsilis for buildings at Thebes. Bunsen sug- 
gests his identification with the Jsychis (Sasychis in Diodorus), 
whom Herodotus celebrates as a wise legislator, as well as con- 
queror, — the author of the law by which a debtor could pledge his 
father's body and his family sepulchre, as a security certain to be 

The obscure reign of Osobchon I. (Sargon in Assyrian), son 
of Sheshonk I., whose 11th year is found on the monuments,** 
involves one point of much interest. From the Second Book of 
Chronicles we find that, for the space of a generation after the 
conquest by Shishak, the kingdom of Judah waxed stronger and 
stronger, and inflicted severe defeats on Israel, under Rehoboam, 
Abijah, and especiallj' under Asa, who restored the fortresses of 
Judah, and maintained an army (according to the received text) 
of 580,000 men — all without any interference from Egypt. But 
now ** there came out against them Zerah (ZeracK) the Gushite 
(or Ethiopian), with an host of a million, and 300 chariots ;** and 
over him Asa gained a most complete victory in the valley of 
Zapathah at Mareshah, near the later Eleutheropolis.^ This was 
in, or immediately before, the 15th year of Asa (b.c. 941, received 
chronology),*® exactly 30 years after the invasion of Shishak, and 
consequently, by an easy calculation from the years assigned to 
Shishak and Osorchon, about the end of the reign of the latter. 

Considering the absence of any sign of an invasion of Egypt 
from Ethiopia at this time, and the fact that Zerah's army was 
composed, like that of Shishak, of "Ethiopians and Lubim,"* 

3* 1 Kings xi. 23-25. 

'^ Append, to Herod., Book II., in Eawlinson, vol. il. p. 377. 

^ Manetho gives him fifteen years. The name, Osorthonf is repeated in the 
23rd dynasty in the more correct form, Osorchon. 

" 2 Chron. xiv. 9-13. The numbers of the received text are not to be trusted. 

^ 2 Chron. xv. 10, fixes the date, as the convocation was the immediate resolt 
of the victory over Z(;rah. 

'^ 2 Chron. xvi. 8. On the other band, these nations would of cotirse appear 


whence he himself also might be called an Ethiopian, csivcially 
at the late period when the Chronicles were written, — on these 
grounds, and a sufficient likeness in the names, Ewald and some 
Egyptologers identify Zerach with Osorchon I, Others believe that 
there was at this time a real invasion of Egypt by Azerch-Amenf 
ruler of the Ethiopian kingdom of Napata, whose overtlu-ow by 
Asa involved also the loss of Egypt and his retreat into his own 
country.*^ The question requires further light. Thus much, how- 
ever, seems clear, that while the Tanite and Bubastite dynasties 
established their power over Egypt, the priests of the lino of 
Her-Hor retired to Ethiopia, and founded the purely sacerdotal 
kingdom of Napata, with an oracle of Ammon in rivalry with that 
of Thebes, While, however, they claimed to have transferred the 
Intimate rights of the priesthood to their new capital, we find 
its functions exercised by members of the royal house of Bubastis, 
named Sheshonk and Osorchon, and bearing the old title of 
** captain of the archers " besides that of " priest." 

§ 10. The sacerdotal monarchy of Napata would of course watch 
every opportunity for recovering Egypt; and recent discoveries 
have shewn that they had a party in Thebes. The later years 
of the 22nd dynasty, and the time of the Twenty-third {Tanite) 
Dynasty which succeeded it, appear to have been a time of constant 
trouble and internal division. ** The princes of Zoan (Tanis) have 
become fools, the princes of N<yph (Memphis) are deceived," says 
Isaiah, in his prophecy of the destruction coming ui)on Egypt — 
thereby testifying to the existence of rival dynasties; and three 
Memphite kings of this age have been discovered from the inscrip- 
tions of the iSerapeum. It must be remembered that Manetho 
only registers the kings and dynasties which were ultimately 
admitted as legitimate in the archives of the priests. But we 
have now the Ethiopian version of this period, on a stela discovered 
at Napata by M. Mariette. It appears that Lower and Middle 
Egypt were divided among no less than thirteen petty states, 
when the Ethiopian king, Piankh, marched from Napata; and, 
having been welcomed at Thebes as a deliverer, took Memphis by 
force, and gained several battles against the princes of the Delta. 
Among these princes, several of whom were militaiy adventurers 
of the Libyan race, five only are called kings. The most powerful 

in the army of an Ethiopian king who had conquered Egypt. The important 
place occupied hy the Lybians in the militia of Egypt is in itself an interesting 
fact, and disposes of the theory that Zerah was an eastern Cuthite, and any other 
than an invader from Egypt^ as is shown also by his retreat by way of Gerar. 
In fact, there was at this time no great eastern Coshite monarchy. 

40 (( xhe Ethiopians were OYerthrown, thctt they could not recover themselves ; " 
2 Chron. xiy. 18. 


were Osorchon (or Sargon) and Pe/aa-bast (or Fet-se-Pashf)*^ "both 
of whom are placed by Manetho in the 23rd Tanite Dynasty ; and 
Tafnekht, of Sais, the Tnephachthus of Diodorus Siculus. The 
curse said to have been pronounced by this Tnephachthus upon 
Menes, observes Wilkinson, "is consistent with the fact of his 
seeing the decline of Egyptian power, and with the common habit 
of attributing to some irrelevant cause (such as the innovations of 
an early king) the gradual fall of a nation; and is only worth 
noticing as illustrating the declining condition of Egypt during 
the age of Tnephachthus and his son."*^ 

§ 11. Under that son, Bokenbanf, the Bocchobis of Manetho 
and the Greeks,*^ who stands alone as forming the Twenty^fourth 
Dynasty t the capital was transferred to Sais (^Sd-el-ffagar), which 
afterwards became the seat of a race of kings, who raised Egypt 
to revived splendour before the final extinction of the monarchy. 
The Greeks had many traditions about Bocchoris, as of all the 
kings of Sais, the city which they frequented more than any other 
in Egypt. These traditions are consistent only in representing him 
as an able administrator and judge. Though eminent for the 
wisdom of his decisions, and especially for his laws regulating com- 
mercial contracts, and the royal prerogatives and duties, he is 
charged with meanness and severity, and even with wanton cruelty 
and sacrilege — a composite portrait which may reflect the prejudices 
excited by his reforms. He reigned for 6 years, according to the 
Greek copyists of Manetho ; but the Armenian version of Eusebins 
assigns him 44.*"* No details of his reign are found on the monu- 
ments; and it is doubtful whether, as some say, he expelled the 
Ethiopians for a time, or whether he reigned as their vassal. If 
the latter, we may account for the statement that he was burnt 
alive by Sabaco, as the punishment of an attempt at rebellion. 
At all events, he was overthrown by that conqueror. Sais con- 
tinued, however, the seat of a native line of princes, one of many 
which reigned over the cities of the Delta, a country easy of defence, 
during the rule of the Ethiopians, on whose retirement they regained 
power as the twenty-sixth dynasty. There seems reason to believe, 
from the annals of the Assyrian kings, that the Saite princes were 
distinguished from the rest by being the line especially recognised 
by Assyria,' 

§ 12. Meanwhile the Ethiopians, who had figured for so many ages 

*^ This name contains that of the goddess Pasht. Oppert explains it as " the man 
of Pasht." But the king was of a different race from the Osorchons and Sheshonks 
of the Buhastite and Tanite lines. 

^2 Append, to Herod., Book II. in Bawlinson, vol. ii. p. 379. 

*^ Diod. i. 45. For a description of Sais, see chap. viii. 

** The 6th year of Bocchoris is said to be fixed by an Apis-stela to B.C. 715 ; a 
%'eijr probable date for the time of his being put to death by Sabaco* 

Chap. VIL " ETfflOPU ABOVE EGYPT." 126 

on the monuments of the great Egyptian dynasties as ''the vile 
race of Cnsh," came in their torn to rule Egypt as the Ttoenty- 
fifth Dynasty, It is time co speak more precisely of these Ethio- 
pians and their country. The Greek word Ethiopian {AlBioyftf 
JmrrU^ac€d)y Uke the Semitic Ctish^ is a generic term for the dark 
raoes.^ In this wide sense it included, not only the people of 
Central Africa, from the Atlantic to the Red and Arabian Seas, 
but also the bladL and swarthy races of Asia.'*^ In a narrower 
sense, like the Cush of the Egjrptiau monuments, there was an 
** Ethiopia above Egypt," which may be described generally as the 
country watered by the Nile and its tributaries above the first 
cataract, so far as it was known, and answering pretty nearly to the 
modem Nubia and Sennaar^ with the neighbouring regions of 
northern Abyssinia and Kardcfan, As a geographical term, it may 
have included so much as was known of negro-land ; and we liave 
seen that there were probably mutual displacements of the negro and 
the Cushite races ; but the two must not be confounded. The Ethio- 
pians or Cushites of Egyptian history — the probable ancestors of 
the Buharies and ShangaUas — were a straight-haired race, having 
the Egyptian physiognomy, but with those features that border on 
the n^ro type somewhat more pronounced, and darker, but not 
jet-black. The Nubian eye, more elongated than the Egyptian, is 
still seen in the ShangaUas, 

But still more definite limits may be assigned to ''Ethiopia above 
E^ypt" in the political sense, in which it coincides with the kingdoms 
of Kapata and of Meroe, and very nearly with Nuhia and Sennaar, 
The southern boundary, indeed, cannot be precisely fixed ; but it 
seems not to have been higher than the juuction of the Blue and 
White Bivers at the village of Khartum, The Astaboras {Atbarah 
or Taeazze) formed the astern boundary both of the kingdom and 
of the island of Meroe : below its junction with the Nile, the deserts 
bordering the river assigned natural limits on both sides. The 
northern r^on, for about a degree and a quarter of latitude above 
the first cataract, hence called the Bodecaschcenus (80 miles' space) 
or .Ethiopia JSgypti, was a debatable land, reckoned sometimes to 
f^ypt, though properly in Ethiopia. 

A natural division of the whole country is formed by the great 
desert and the range of hills, which cross the valley of the Nile 
between the Fourth Cataract and the confluence of the Asta- 

^ The name of Ethiopia has also been traced to the Egyptian name of the 
eonntry Ethamk or Mho§h, If this is the trae derivatioa, we have another 
example of the praetke, so common with the Greeks, of assimilating a foreign 
ii ^imA to a significant form in their own language. The Arabs have followed the 
same praetioe ; and so hare all nations, more or less. 

^ Herod, iii 94; Tii.70t 


boras; and there is an equally marked division in its political 
history, between the old Ethiopian kingdom of Napata and the 
later kingdom of Meroe. Of the latter we know little till the time 
of the Ptolemies and the Roman empire; though it is mentioned 
by Herodotus as the capital of Upper Ethiopia.^^ Napata,*® the 
capital of the older kingdom, is a place whose position has been 
much disputed, and some have even supposed the name to denote 
simply the royal city, which might have occupied diflFerent positions 
at different times. But it is now generally identified with the 
extensive ruins at Jehel-BerJcely a little below the Fourth Cataract, 
the highest point on the Nile at which we find any considerable 
monuments of the Pharaohs.*® It was also the furthest point reached 
by the Roman expedition, which was sent under Petronius in the 
time of Augustus, against Candace, queen of the Ethiopians (b.c. 
22).^ Candace was the title of a race of queens who reigned at 
Napata, which was probably at this time a dependency of Meroe. 

Napata owed much of its wealth and importance to its being the 
terminus of two considerable caravan routes : one crossing the desert 
of Baldouda S.E. to Meroe ; the other running in the opposite 
direction to the island of Gagaudes (Argd) in the Nile. Its com- 
merce consisted in an interchange of the products of Libya and 
Arabia, and it was near enough to the marshes of the Nile to enjoy 
a share of the profitable trade in the hides and ivory which were 

^^ Herod, ii. 29. There are vevy different opinions about the origin of Meroe. 
The story mentioned by Diodorus and Strabo, that it was built by Cambyses, is 
simply absurd. Some modem writers trace its origin to the Deserters ftrom 
Psammetichus (see the next chapter) ; but others hold it to have been the seat of 
an independent kingdom as early as Napata; arguing its antiquity from the 
appearance of its pyramids at Dankalah, Though M. Oppert can hardly be wrong 
in regarding the Miluhha or Miluhhi of the Assyrian inscriptions (which some 
read Mirukh) as the etymological equivalent of Meroe, it does not follow that the 
name denotes specifically the island of Meroe or a kingdom with its seat there, Ou 
the contrary, its most definite use is for the kingdom of Tirhdkah ; ^nd his monu- 
mental records are found, not at Meroe^ but at Napata. Esar-haddon, in styling 
himself " King of Egypt and Ethiopia," uses both Miluhhi and Kusi (Cush) for the 
latter name ; and that in the same set of inscriptions. Sometimes, indeed, there 
seems to be a distinction, as if Miluhhi were the more general term for the whole 
valley of the Nile. In any case, it seems in vain at this early period to seek for any 
more specific sense of Miluhhi than as a general name for Ethiopia. It seems not 
iiulikely that, in what Herodotus says of Meroe, he may sometimes mean Napata, 
which he does not name. 

** Sir G. Wilkinson says that the name " n-ape-t " seems to signify " of Ape-t 
or Tape " i.e. Thebes, as if it were derived from Thebes : and that it was not 
unusual to give the names of Egyptian cities to those of Ethiopia, as was often 
done in Nubia. Note to Herod, ii. 29, Kawlinson. 

*^ The two lions of red granite now in the British Museum, bearing the names 
of Amenhotep III. and Amuntuonkh, which some have supposed to mark the 
furthest limit of the dominions of the XVIIIth dynasty, were originally at Soleb, 
as the inscription on them shows, and were removed by Tirhakah to adorn his 
Ethiopian capital. Sir G. Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's * Herodotus,' vol. ii. p. 3G2. 

»o Strabo, xvii. p. 820 ; Tlin. 'II. N.' vi. 35. 


obtained from the chase of the hippopotamus and elepliant. The 
ruins at Jebel Berkel denote a city well desen-inj; the epithet of 
golden J which was given to Napata as well as to Meroe. On the 
western hank of the Nile are found two temples and a considerable 
necropolis. The former were dedicated to Osiris and Amun,*" and 
the sculptures, representing the worship of those deities, are inferior 
to none of the Nubian monuments in design and execution. Avenues 
of sphinxes lead up to the Ammonium, which exhibits the plan of 
the great temples of Egypt. On the walls of the Osirian temple 
are represented Amun-Be and his usual attendants. The intaglios 
exhibit Amun or Osiris receiving gifts of fruit, cattle, and other 
articles, or offering sacrifice; strings of captives taken in war are 
kneeling before their conqueror. On the gateway heading to the 
court of the necropolis, Osiris was carved in the act of receiving gifts 
as lord of the lower world. The pyramids are of considerable mag- 
nitude ; but, having been built of the sandstone of Mount l^erkel, 
they have suffered greatly from the periodical rains, and have been 
still more injured by man.'^ "There are some curiously-fortified 
lines on the hills about five Or six miles below Jehtl Berkel, com- 
manding the approaches to that place by the river and on the shore, 
apparently of Ethiopian origin." ^ 

§ 13. Of the political state of Ethiopia, before its conquest by the 
kings of the Xllth and XVIIIth and following dynasties, we know 
next to nothing. We have seen that it became a vice-royalty under a 
prince of the reigning family, " the royal son of Kush," and occa- 
sionally the refuge of the Pharaohs from invasion and revolution. 
At length, when the capital of Egypt was finally fixed in the Delta, 
under the XXIst dynasty, the expelled family of the priest-king, 
Her-Hor, set up a sacerdotal kingdom at Napata, the institutions of 
which were doubtless perpetuated in those of Meroe, as described by 
the Greek and Roman writers. The latter resembled those of Egypt, 
except that the priests had supreme power over the king. "In 
-Ethiopia," says Diodorus, " the priests send a sentence of death to 
the king, when they think he has lived long enough. The order 
to die is a mandate of the gods."^^ The Ethiopians of the 8th 

*^ Herodotiu (ii. 29) says that great honours were paid at Meroe, the capital 
of the Ethiopians, to Jove and Dionysus, i.e. Amun and Osiris. By the former he 
means the ram-headed god {Nou, Noub^ Noumj or Kneph)^ who was the chief 
deity of Ethiopia ; hut the Thehan Amun was also worshipped in Ethiopia, as well 
as most of the Egyptian gods. There were also gods peculiar to Ethiopia, and of 
uncommon forms. *' At Wady (hoatayb is one with three lions' heads and four 
arms, more like an Indian than an Egyptian god, though he wears a head-dress 
common to gods and kings, especially in PtolemaYc and Boman times." Wilkinson's 
Note to Herod, il. 29, Rawlinson. 

vt Hoskins, * Travels in Ethiopia,* pp. 161, 288 ; Calliaud, ^L'lsle de Meroe.' 

»» Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 29, Rawlin«on. 

** Diod. iii. 6. In the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, the influence of Greek 
culture led the King Ergamenes to throw off the yoke of the priests and put them 
to death. 


century, therefore, were kindred to the Egyptians in. race, religion, 
and institutions; nor were they inferior in civilization, and they 
used the same system of hieroglyphics.^ " Both the historical and 
prophetic books of the Jews afford evidence of their military power. 
They bear a part in the invasions of Palestine; they are joined 
by Isaiah with the Egyptians when he endeavours to dissuade his 
countrymen from relying on their aid to resist Assyria. In the 87th 
Psalm, Ethiopia is mentioned, along with Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, 
and Philistia, as one of the most illustrious nations. Throughout the 
prophetic writings the Ethiopians are very generally conjoined with 
Egypt, so as to show that the union between them, produced some- 
times by the ascendancy of one country, sometimes of the other, 
was so close that their foreign policy was usually the same.** We 
are not, therefore, to consider the subjugation of Egypt by the 
Ethiopians as if they had fallen under the dominion of a horde of 

Arabs or Scythians The dynasty was changed, but the order 

of government appears to h^ve suffered little change. No difference 
of religion or manners embittered the animosity of the two nations ; 
they had been connected by royal intermarriages .... and to the 
inhabitants of Upper Egypt the Ethiopians would seem hardly so 
foreign as the people of Sais." *^ In fact, we now know that their 
power was thoroughly established in the Thebaid before, and during 
the greater part of, the time when they were struggling for ascend- 
ancy in the Delta. Politically, Egypt seems now to be divided 
between the Semitized states of the Delta, leaning more or less upon 
Assyria, and Upper Egypt and Ethiopia as the stronghold of the old 
and genuine Eg3rptians. 

§ 14. The Ethiopian conqueror of Egypt is called Sahacos by 
Herodotus, who says that, after a rule of fifty years, he quitted 
Egypt of his own free-will, moved by religious scruples.** But the 
historian, by including two kings of the same name in one, and 
omitting a third, has confounded the duration of the Ttoenty-fifth 
Dynasty with the reign of its founder. Manetho's three Ethiopian 
kings, Sabaco, Sebichos or Sevechos, his son, and Tarkus or Tarakus, 
correspond to the Shahaka or Shebek /., Shabatoka or SJiebek II., 
and Tar-haka of the monuments.** Under them Egypt again comes 

^^ Being applied, however, to a different and less known language, this sys- 
tem has been found more difficult to decipher. 

^^ Is. XXX. 5 ; Nahum iii. 9 ; Ezek. xxx. 4. 

*^ Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,' vol. ii. pp. 365, 366. 

** Herod, ii. 137, 139. We have already had occasion to refer to what Hero- 
dotus says of his having substituted for the punishment of death the labour of 
emban king the cities, so as to raise them above the inundation. Diodorus says 
that he surpassed all his predecessors in piety and clemency. 

^* The syllable A;a, in which all these names end, was the article in the Cushite 
language, and the Semitic forms seem to drop the peculiar Ethiopic guttural. The 
Ethiopian origin of the name of Sabaco is conflnned by its occurrence on the 
monuments of private persons, calling themselves " natives of Cush." Thus, the 


into contact with Judasa and Assyria, and we have reached the de- 
cisive period **when Egypt with Aasyria strove" for the mastery 
of Western Asia. The warlike Ethiopian, after conquering Egypt, 
carried his arms into Asia, on the opportunity afforded by Hoshea, 
king of Samaria, who asked the support of Sabaco I. in his rebellion 
against Assyria. Shalmaneser invested Samaria before aid came from 
Egypt, and his successor, Sargon, took the city after a three years' 
siege.*- Meanwhile Sabaco seems to have undertaken some opera- 
tions, on the strength of which he indulged himself in the flattery 
of claiming Syria as his tributary in an inscription at Kamak. 

But now for the Assyrian version. In the great inscription on his 
palace at Khoraaibad, Sargon tells us that after the capture of Samaria 
Hanon, king of Graza, and Sab^e, sultan of Egypt, met the king of 
Assyria in battle at Bapih (Raphia), and were defeated. iSahaco 
disappeared^ but Hanon was captured " (about B.C. 718). The flight 
of the Ethiopian sultan may have some connection with the state- 
ment of Herodotus, that Sabaco withdrew from Egypt ; but we shall 
presently see that the Ethiopians were driven back more than once 
into the upper country. Of course we do not expect a record of his 
flight on the monuments of Sabaco ; but his name is found, with 
the full titles of Egyptian sovereignty, on the internal face of the 
propylaea at Luxor, built by Rameses II., whose name he has erased. 
Among others of his monuments, there is a fragment inscribed with 
his 12th year, his last according to Ensebius.*' 

§ 15. Sabaco II. (Shebetek, Shdbatoka^ or, in Assyrian, Sahtt) 
is now considered by the best authorities to be identifled with the 
priest-king Sethos, whom Herodotus places immediately after the 
letirement of Sabaco I.** Further light is thrown on the state of 

name whkh stands in the Egyptian monuments and the list of Manetho as Shabaka, 
with the lart^cle, becomes in the Bible 8eba or Seva or Sua (with the Masoretic 
points. So, 2 Kings xtU. 4 ; 'Sifffop in the LXX.), and 8ab*e in Assyrian (the ' 
marking an hiattts). The second Sabaeo is always distinguished on the monuments 
troxa the first by the t in the final syllable of his name. So in Assyrian he is Sabtr. 
This is a strong argument for his identification with the Sethos of Herodotus 
(iL 141}. See $ 15. 
<* B.C. 721 in the received chronology, confirmed by the canon. See c. xiiL $$ 6, 7. 

*^ Oppert, 'Les Inscriptions Assyriennes des Sargonides,' &c., p. 22. 

•^ It seoDS that his fii^t marked, or very shortly preceded, the end of his rdgn, 
which M. Oppert places in b.c. 716. If his reign ended between b.c. 718 and 7 1 6. it began 
between b.c. 730 and 728 ; possibly earlier, for it may have exceeded 12 years. Ck)mparing 
the dose of bis reign with another computation, we have the evidence of an Apis-stela 
for placing the accession of llrhakah in b.c. 69a. Adding to this the 12 years assigned 
by Manetho to Sabaco II. (or rather 14, as In Eusebius) we reach bjc. 707 ; but if 14 is 
an error for 24, we come to b.c. 717, the very year after the battle of Raphia and the 
flight of Sabaco I. This result is highly probable on other grounds. 

*> The identification, which is maintained by M. de Roug6 and M. Oppert is said to be 
now clearly established by Dr. Brugscb. The modes of reconciling 'the characters 
ascribed to the Ung— as an Ethiopian (Manetho, &c), as a priest-king reigning after 
tiie withdrawal of the Ethiopian (for Herodotus know? of bqt one), and as a Pharaol^-. 



Egypt in his time by the annals of Sargon and Sennacherib, with 
both of whom he was contemporary. 

Four years after the battle of Kaphia (in b.o. 714), Sargon 
records the receipt of tribute from "Pharaoh (Pir'u), king of 
Egypt," as well as from a queen of Arabia and a Sabsean king. 
Here we have a sovereign of Egypt, recognised both by the old 
royal name, and by the title which Sargon withholds from the 
"sultan" who had fought at Raphia. In his great inscription at 
Khorsabad, this "Pharaoh" is mentioned immediately after the 
record of that battle. 

Four years later still (in b.c. 710), Sargon was again on the con- 
fines of Egypt^ chastising a revolt of Ashdod. Yaman^ the rebel 
king of that city, had fled, at Sargon's approach, " beyond Egypt, 
on the side of Ethiopia." But now, instead of marching out to 
resist the Assyrian, " the king of Ethiopia, dwelling in a remote 
country, whose fathers had never from the remotest days sent 
ambassadors to the kings, my ancestors, to demand peace and 
friendship," sends an embassy to sue for peace. "The immense 
terror inspired by my royalty took possession of him, and fear 
changed his purpose. He threw Yaman into chains and fet- 
ters of iron, sent him to Assyria, and had him brought before 
me." 8* 

§ 16. The distinction between the kings of Egypt and of Ethiopia 
appears still more clearly, ten years later, in the Jewish campaign 
of Sennacherib, both from his own annals and from the Bible 
(B.C. 700). After subduing Phoenicia and Philistia he was on his 
march to chastise Migion,^ the revolt of which had been encou- 
raged by "Hezekiah, king of Judah." But he found his way 
barred, precisely as his father s had been in the campaign of Baphia, 
by the united forces of Egypt and Ethiopia. 

He tells us that "the men of Migron had called to their aid 
the kings of Egypt and the archers, the chariots, and the horses of 
the king of Ethiopia ; and they came to their help, an innumerable 
host. Near the town of Altaku their line of battle confronted me, 
and they tried their arms. In the adoration of my lord Asshur 
I fought with them and put them to flight. My hands seized the 
charioteers and sons of the king of Egypt, together with the 

cannot be conveniently discussed here. The story told of him by Herodotus is given 
below ($ 16). 

64 Oppert, * L'Egypte et I'Assyrie/p. 18. Of course, on the view stated above, this 
" king of Ethiopia" was not Sabaco II., who was now reigning in Egypt as Pharaoh. 
M. Oppert thinks he may have been the father of Tlrhakah ; for it is only by a gratuitous 
a^umption that Tirhakah is made the son of Sabaco 11. 

^ The Migron mentioned in Isaiah x. 28, among the cities attacked by the Assyrian, 
was near Ai and Michmash, on the western edge of the Jewish highlands, towards tUo 
marilime plain. Bat »ome takj the JJigron ofSonnaclicrib's annals for Ekron, 


charioteers of the king of Ethiopia, The town of Altaku and 
the town of Tamna I besieged, 1 took, I spoiled their spoils." •• 

Here, besides a " king of Ethiopia" (probably the great Tirhakah), 
who was not yet king of Egypt in B.C. 700,''' we have, firaf, ** kings 
of Egypt," and then one who seems to be recognised as " the king 
of Egypt" in some special sense. The latter is supposed to have 
been Sabaco If. (or Sethos) : the full meaning of the plural will 
presently be made apparent.^ The sequel of this campaign, in its 
relation to Judah and Hezekiah, will be related in the histoiy of 
Sennacherib. Meanwhile we have to notice the distinct mention, 
in the scriptural narrative also, of a "king of Egypt" and a " king 
of Ethiopia," the former by the usual title of Pharaoh, the latter 
by his name, Tirhakah. 

In the ooui-se of his operations against "the fenced cities of 
Judah," after the battle of Altaku, Sennacherib had laid siege to 
Lachi^ ; and thence he sent a summons to Jerusalem. Our know- 
ledge of his recent victory sets in a new light the taunt of the 
Assyrian envoys, " Behold thou trustest upon the stafif of this 
bruised reed, upon Egypt^ on which, if a man lean, it will go into 
his hand and pierce it : so is Fharaoh, king of Egypt, unto all that 
trust on him."*'* Presently afterwards we find the movement of 
Sennacherib from Lachish to Libnah connected with a report, 
which had reached him, that Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, had 
come out to fight with him.^*^ 

Such is the concurrence of testimony to the fact that, both when 
"Sargon gained the victory of Eaphia, and when Sennacherib made 
war on Egypt and Judah, there were distinct but allied kingdoms 
of Egypt and Ethiopia. It is in, as well as after, this interval that 
the reign of Sabaco II. seems to fall (about b.c, 717-693). If this 
king was the Sethos of Herodotus, his destitution of an army may 

« Oppert, • L'Egypte et TAssyrie,' pp. 25-27. Altaku is evidently the LeviUcal city 
of Elttkeh (Joshua xix. 44; xxi. V3) ; and Tani'na is Timfixxth^ famous in the story of 
Samson (Judges xiv. 1, 2, 5). Both were in the border of Dan, in, or on the edge of, the 
maritime plain. 

'^ Bespecting the time of Tirhakah's accession, see above, note 62. 

SB M. Oppert considers the " kings or Egypt " to have been those of the Upper and 
Lower country respectively : but this Is not in accordance with the subsequent mention 
of many more in both parts ; and Upper Egypt seems to have been now subject to 

^ 2 Kings zviii. 21 ; Isaiah xxxvi. 6. The figure, which is repeated in Ezekiel xxix. 
6, 7, becomes doubly expressive when we find a bent reed as the initial prefixed to the 
common hieroglyphic for the Egyptian word suten, "king." The annals of Senna- 
cherib shew that his attack on the Jewish fortresses, and consequently the summons to 
Jerusalem, was immediately after the battle of Altaku. M. Oppert well says, " La vlc- 
toire scule a pu dieter ces hautaines paroles." Observe that the king of Ethiopia is not 
mentioned here ; as if no more were to be hoped from him since bis flight from Altaku. 

70 2 Kings xix. 8, 9 ; Isaiah zxxvii. 9. It is not said that Tirhakah came into conflict 
with Sennacherib : on the contrary, it seems to be implied thiit he had not arrived before 
the miraculous overthrow of the Assyrian host. . ■ . 


perhaps be explained by the flight of the warriors with Tirhakah to 
the upper country after their great defeat. There Tirhakah may 
have rallied his forces for another struggle with Sennacherib, while 
he was occupied with the siege of Lachish ; and the movement of 
the Assyrian to Libnah may have been designed to crush that 
** bruised reed," the destitute king of Egypt, before his powerful 
ally could return to help him.^^ 

The reader of the Scripture narrative, whose attention is fixed 
on what was going on at Jerusalem, is apt to think that Senna- 
cherib's army perished before that city. But ordinary attention to 
the narrative shows that the real scene of the catastrophe was near 
the confines of Egypt ; and the Egyptians gave their gods the honour 
of the miracle. There was, Herodotus teUs us, a priest of Hephaestus 
(Phtha), named Sethos, who reigned soon after the retirement of 
Sabaco." Having neglected and despoiled the warrior class, he was 
reduced to great straits by their refusal to serve, when " Sanacharib, 
king of the Arabians^* and Assyrians," marched his -vast army into 
Egypt. Encouraged, however, by the god, Sethos gathered an army 
of traders, artisans, and market people, and marched to Pelusium, 
which commands the entrance into Egypt, and there pitched his 
camp. ** Here, as the two armies lay opposite one ^mother, there 
came an army of field-mice, which devoured all the quivers and bow- 
strings of the enemy, and ate the thongs by which they managed 
their shields. Next morning they commenced their flight, and great 
multitudes fell, as they had no arms with which to defend them- 
selves. The historian saw in the temple of Phtha a stone statue of 
Sethos, with a mouse in his hand,^* and an inscription to this effect, 
* Look on me, and learn to reverence the gods.' " 

§ 17. Besides the mention thus made of him in Scripture, Tah- 
BAKA {Tirhakah)^ the Tarhus or Tarahus of Manetho, appears on 
his monuments and in the Greek writers as one of the most famous 
kings in the later history of Egypt. Strabo ^" speaks of him, by the 
name of Tearko, as rivalling Sesostris by carrying his foreign expe- 

71 The Libnah of the Scriptare narrative agrees fairly with the place of that name in 
or near the maritime plain, near Lachish (Joshua x. 31 ; zv. 42) ; but M. Oppert ai^cs 
very Ingeniously that here it is nothing else than a Hebrew rendering of tiie name of 
Pelutdum (' L'Egypte et 1' Assyrie,' pp. 34, 36). 

" Herod. li. 141. 

73 It is quite natural that the Arabians bordering on Mesopotamia should have served 
In the army of Sennacherib. 

74 This mouse was, of course, a sacred emblem, perhaps of the generative prin- 
ciple ; and prophetic power was ascribed to mice. The people of Troas are said to 
have revered mice " because they gnawed the bow-strings of their enemies and the 
leathern part of their arms." (Enstath. ad Hom. II. i. 39 ; Strab. xiii. p. 416), 
and their Apollo Smintheos was represented with a mouse in his hand. Wilkinson's 
Note to Herod. I. e. 

7* Strabo i. p. 67 ; xv. p. 687. M Oppert considers Tearko to be nearest to the 
truQ form of the name, which he reads TXarqu. The Scriptural form, which we adopt 


ditions as far as the Pillars of Hercules ; and a bas-relief at Medinet* 
Abou represents him as about to cut off the heads of a mass of 
captives whom he holds by the hair — the usual symbol of a number 
of conquered tribes. But his most interesting relations are those 
with Assyria, against which empire he maintained a constant 
struggle, with alternate successes and reverses. The particulars are 
learnt chiefly from the Assyrian monuments; but some light 
is thrown on the Ethiopian version by stelce at the capital of 

We have already distinguished, by aid of the records of Sargon 
and Sennacherib, the actual sovereignty of the Ethiopians in Egypt 
from the state of things in which there was not only a " king of 
Egypt," but more than one in alliance — though doubtless subor- 
dinate alliance — with a " king of Ethiopia.'* Instead of Tirhakah's 
simply succeeding Sabaco II. as the third Ethiopian king of Egypt, 
his first appearance (by his name) has been made in B.C. 700; 
when there appear with him " kings of Egypt," and a " Pharaoh, 
king of Egypt." 

These relations come out far more clearly in the records before 
US, which for the first time explain the state of Egypt just before 
the well-known period of the Saite dynasty. From their com- 
parison it seems clear that Esar-haddon, who was the first Assyrian 
that invaded Egypt, made his campaign in that land near the very 
end of his reign (b.o. 670, or even later). Tlie success, which gave 
him the title of " King of Egypt and Ethiopia," was gained (as we 
learn from his son's annals) against Tirhahdh ; but the Ethiopian 
king is now recognised in the character of "King of Egypt and 
Ethiopia;"^* and we are expressly told that, when Esar-haddon 
conquered Tirhakah, he did not deprive him of the sovereignty 6f 
the ooimtry. If the dates on the Apis-stelae are rightly calculated, 
the jeign of Tirhakah over Egypt began in b.o. 693, by his succes- 
sion (as we may suppose) to Sabaco II. or Sethos. But the petty 

as the best known, is obtained by a transposition qf the R ; the i comes from the 
Masoretic punctuation. 

7B In the ArmaU of E^sar-haddon, Egypt is only mentioned in one doubtful passage ; 
and what we know of his conquests there is from the records of his son. But, in his 
other inscriptions, Esar-haddon has repeated the above UUe (which he l)ore Jirst and last 
of the Assyrian kings) in a variety of very interesting forms : (1.) He is a ** King of the 
Kings of Egypt and conqueror of l«)thiopia ;" showing the plurality of native princes 
in Egypt (2.) Not only in different inscriptions, but in the same (at yimmd), the 
last country is called both Kusi (the more usual name in his records) and MihMii, 
(3.) In two cases a word intervenes between " Egypt " and •* Ethiopia." In one the copy 
is doubtful ; in the other, though the third element is uncertain, the reading appears to be 
Pa4t^i'uyii ; fh)m which M. Oppert deduces a strong confirmation of the view that 
PcUhros (Isaiah xi. 11 ; Jerem. xliv. 1, 15 ; Ezek. xxiz. 14) and Patrtuim (Gen. x. 13, 
14) denote Upper Egypt, and especially the Thebaid. (See Oppert, 'L'Egypte et 
I'Assyrie,* pp. 41, 42 ; and Dr. Smith's • Diet, of the Bible,' t. v. Pathbos). On the 
whole of these Assyrian records, comp. c. xiv. 


kings of the several cities were always attempting to regain their 
independence; and it was by their aid that £sar-haddon forced 
Tirfaakah to retire to the upper country, under an engagement to 
remain there. It seems that Upper Egypt and Ethiopia were left 
to him, while Esar-haddon set up Assyrian ofiBcers beside the vassal 
petty princes. 

It is his son Asshur-bani-pal who gives us the above information 
by way of preface to his own first campaign in Egypt -(b.o. 
667-666)." On the departure of Esar-haddon, or at least on 
his death, Tirhakah had returned, retaken Memphis, where he 
established his capital, and killed, imprisoned, or carried away as 
hostages many of the officers set up by the Assyrian. The rest 
sent to Nineveh to implore aid, and Asshur-bani-pal led his whole 
army to a place called Karhanit, probably the new Assyrian name 
given by Esar-haddon to some border fortress of the Delta. Tir- 
hakah marched out from Memphis^ to meet him there ; and, being 
defeated in a great battle, fled in his ships, leaving his tent as a 
spoil, but carrying away his captives of the Assyrian party as 
hostages to Thebes, which is described as '* the city of the empire 
of Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia." After a difficult march of forty 
days, Asshur-bani-pal reached Thebes, whence Tirhakah had fled 
at his approach, and took the city with a great slaughter. 

But the vassal kings, who had sided with Tirhakah on his return, 
did not submit till they were defeated in another great battle.^* 
And here it is that these annals throw their great light on the 
political state of Egypt. The names of these kings and of their 
cities are mentioned, to the number of twenty, including cities of 
Upper Egypt, as well as of the Delta ; not only Sais, Tanis, Seben-- 
nytus, Mendes, Bubastis, &c., but ChemmiSf This, and Thebes itself, 
the name of whose king contains the second element (ankh), 
which occurs in the priestly line of Her-Hor.^' A Sheshonk is still 
reigning si Buhastis, Necho (doubtless the father of Psammeti- 
chus) is king of Memphis as well as Sals, and leader of the con- 
federacy. This marks the "hegemony" of Sais, which was esta- 
blished by Bocchoris, and doubtless confirmed by Esar-haddon, 
and helps to explain the jealousy which Herodotus ascribes to the 

^ These annald have come down to us in a yery matilated condition. The fragments 
found in his palace at Calah reached our Museum thoroughly shuffied, and the utmost 
ingenuity of Mr. Cox and M. Oppert has only produced a coi\Jectural restoration. 
Fortunately, there are separate copies on four decagonal prisms (but all broken to 
pieces), besides other copies on fragments of tablets. 

7> He expressly says that ihey had rendered homage to his father ; but " on the 
occasion of Tirhakah's lifting up his bucklers" they had forgotten their duty and had 

^ For a full discussion of the names in this list, and the many interesting quesUuns 
th'^y involve, sec Oppert, 'L'Egypte et I'Assyrie,' p. 8* foil. 


chaiioteen of the kiivj of Ethiojna. The town of Altaha and 
the town of Tamna I besieged, I took, I spoiled their spoils.'**' 

Here, besides a ^ king of Ethiopia** (probably the great Tirliakah), 
who was not yet king of Egypt in B.C. 700,*^ we have, firaf, ** kings 
of Egypt," and then one who seems to be recognised as '* the kii%g 
of Egypt" in some special sense, llie latter is supposed to have 
been Sabaoo If. (or Sethos) : the full meaning of the plural will 
presently be made apparent.** The sequel of this campai;;:n, in its 
idadon to Judah and Uczekiah, will be related in the history of 
Sennacherib. Meanwhile we have to notice the distinct mention, 
in the scriptural narrative also, of a ^ king of Egypt" and a " king 
of Ethu^pia," the former by the usual title of Pharaoh^ the latter 
by his name, Tirhakah, 

In the course of his operations against ''the fenced cities of 
Judah," after the battle of Altaku, Sennacherib had laid siege to 
l^gijiiah ; and thence he sent a summons to Jemsalem. Our know- 
ledge of his recent victory sets in a new light the taunt of the 
Assyrian envoys, ** Behold thou trustest upon the staff of this 
hrtUsed reed, upon Egypt^ on which, if a man lean, it will go into 
his hand and pierce it : so is PharcLoh, king of Egypt , unto all that 
trust on him."** Presently afterwards we find the movement of 
Sennacherib from Lachish to Labnah connected with a report, 
which had reached him, that Tirhakah^ king of Ethiojna, had 
come out to fight with him.^^ 

Such is the concurrence of testimony to the fact that, both when 
Sorgcm gained the victory of Baphia, and when Sennacherib made 
war on Egypt and Judah, there were distinct but allied kingdoms 
of Egypt and Ethiopia. It is in, as well as after, this interval that 
the reign of Sabaco II. seems to fall (about B.C. 717-693). If this 
king was the Sethos of Herodotus, his destitution of an army may 

« Oppert. ' UEkTpte et 1' Aasjrie,' pp. 25-27. AUaku is eridentiy Uie Leritical city 
of ZUdcdk (JofboA xix. 44 ; xxL :^) ; and Tamna h Tiwtnath^ lamoiis in the story of 
Smbmd (Judges xir. 1, 2, 5). Both were in the border of Dan, In, or on tbe edge of; the 
BSiitinie plain. 

' Bcapeeting the time of Tirbakab's ac ccari on, aee abore, note 62. 

• M. Oppert eoDsiden the *'ldn0i of E^ypt" to bave been tboae of the Upper and 
Jjffwtr coaatrj napeetiwAj : bat tfaia fa not fn aeoorduioe ttfith tiie anbaeqnent mention 
of many more in both parts ; and Upper ^ypi seems to bave been now sati^t to 

* 2 Kioei zriii, 21 ; Isaiah zxxri. 6. The fignre. which is repeated in Ezekiel xxix. 
S, 7, becomes doobly expressive wfaoi we find a bent reed as the initial prefixed to the 
ooraBKn ]iien«]yphie fimr the Egyptian word tuten, "Ung." Tbe annals of Senna- 
cherib shew that liis attads on tiie Jewish fartreaea, and oonseqaoitly the summons to 
Jen— lem, wm hnmediately after the battle of Aitalni. M. Oppert weU saya, " La vfc 
toire Kole » pa dicier ces liantainea purules." Ofaserre that tbe king of Etbiopfa is not 
mentioned liere ; as if no more were to be boped from liim sinoe bis fligbt from Altaian. 

^ 2 Kings xix. 8, 9 ; Isaiah xxxriL 9. Jt is not said tbat Tirbakab came into oonlUct 
with Semacfaerib: on the contrary, it aeems to be implied that he tuul not arrired before 
tlK> miracalooa orerthrov of the AsiTrian iiort. . . 


a monumental testimony all the more important from the silence 
of Herodotua and Diodorus concerning this great conqueror.® The 
Egyptian priests in the interest of the Saite dynasty would have 
all the more reason to suppress his name if it he true that he put 
Necho to death.®* Be this as it may, the removal of Necho might 
be the occasion for the final recognition of Tirhakah in the royal 
lists, as the immediate predecessor of the restored SaJte line. 

§ 18. Both from the monuments of Napata, and from the 
Assyrian annals, we learn that Tirhakah was succeeded, as king of 
Ethiopia, by his son Rut- amen, or Rot-men, or, as the Assyrian 
texts say, by his wife's son, Urdamane, which is evidently the 
same name. The absence of any recognition of him as king of 
Egjrpt seems to imply that he was in Ethiopia when Tirhakah 
died, and that the petty kings of Egypt seized the opportunity to 
cast off the Ethiopian yoke, under the protection of Assyria.®* 
But Rot-men resolved to strike a blow for his inheritance in 
Egypt. Having first recovered the Thebaid (if he did not possess 
it already), he invaded Lower Egypt. The Assyrian annals are 
resumed with an allusion to the death of Tirhakah, and to this 
invasion by Urdaman^, who was totally defeated by Asshur-bani- 
pal, and ** escaped alone to Thebes, the city of his royalty.'* The 
pursuit of the Assyrians occupied, as before, 40 days, through dif- 
ficult roads ; and like Tirhakah, Urdaman^ fled, at their approach, 
to Kip-kip, evidently a place in Ethiopia. 

The second capture of Thebes by Asshur-bani-pal was far more 
terrible than the first. "They took possession," says the king, 
" of the whole city, and sacked it to its foundations. They carried 
off in this city the gold, the silver, the metals, the precious stones, 
all the treasures of his palace " (another copy has " all the treasures 
of the country"), "dyed stuffs of herom and linen, great horses 
(elephants ?), huge apes, natives of their hills — the whole not to be 
computed by accountants ; and they treated it as a captured city. 
They brought this booty safe to Nineveh, and they kissed my feet." 
In another copy the king mentions the captives, " men male and 
female, great and small," as well as the works in basalt and in 

8^ Herodotus appears to preserve the name, of Tirhakah (^THirqtt, Taractu^ Tarcos) 
in his incidental mention of JEtearcktu, a king of the Ammonites (iL 32). But whether 
this was the great Tirhakah, or another Ethiopian king of the same name, or a king of 
the Ethiopian house reigning separately at the Oasis of Ammon, we have no means of 

" Herodotus (iL 152) says that Necho was put to death by Sdbaco, who died about 
SO years earlier ! But as Sabaco is the only Ethiopian conqueror known to Herodotus, 
the error may be only iu the name. It is possible, however, that Necho may have been 
put to death by Asshur-bani-paL Of course, the priests suppressed every allusion to the 
Assyrian conquest of Egypt. 

8< Here, probably, begins that period of transition which Is marked by the Dodecarchy 
and anarchy of Herodotus and Diodorus. 


marble^ and the palaoe-gates, which he tore off and carried to 

§ 19. Tin the diacoTery of this lecord we knew of no Assyrian 
InTasion and captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia, and particularly of 
Thebes, which conld correspond to the warning which Isaiah 
nttered to the Egyptian party in Jndah at the time of the siege of 
Ashdod, or to the still more striking prophecy (or, rather, the his- 
torical allusion) of XahnnL Bat here at length we see '*the 
king of Assyria leading away the Egjrptians prisoners and the 
Ethiopians captives, yonng and old, naked and barefoot, to 
the diame of Egypt."* In the very hour of her triumph, Nahum 
denounoes on "Nineveh, the city of Woods" — we have seen how 
well she earned the title ! — the very fate she had inflicted upon 
Theies: ** Ait thoa better than populous Ao, that was situate 
among the rivers " (on both sides of the Nile) ; ** that Lad the waters 
roond abofat her ; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was 
firom the sea ? Ethiopia and ^^ypt were her strength, and it was 
infinite ; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. Yet was she carried 
away, she wait into captivity; her young children also were 
dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets ; and they cast lots 
ibr her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in 

§ 20. This is the last notice of Egypt in the Assyrian annals ; 
and we may assume that the country was now left to its native 
princes under the suzerainty of Assyria, which her rapid decline 
soon made an empty name. The sack and captivity of Thebes 
must have broken the power of Ethiopia in Upper I^ypt, and the 

*^ The fcnMT renJoD pfeserres tbe third penon fluimi^^lMNit ; tmi the latter Yum the 
fast, cndiDK witt " I retamed m sale^ to Ninevi^ tbe titj of mj dofninioQ." We mnj 
wn^r^^ ^^ 1^™S ^ ^^^ ^ ^ anny into Egypt (as, in fact, he SBf»\ bat not to bare 
Bsrdhed inpenoD agunst Thebes. 

*• laaiah xx. 1. Tbe twopb e cy , uttered at a time when tbe fotves of Bgjfpt and 
MUofia were mnted apdnst Sstbdo. is peculiarly appropriate to » conquest gained over 
Tkdbes as tiie capital at an EUdopkm king, maoj of whose best sokUers, who were led 
mmwj as capti f « » were at come EthiopiaiM. Tbe ezpresB mentlofi (tf '* the Assyriam" 
cxdndes tbe ide» that this p iop h ecj was first f nlfiUcd bj the inTation at Xebocbad- 
iif I isr Qme dup. ^rioL § 14). Tbe three years, during wbidi the pn^pbet went naked 
and bsreCooi for » sigUf and which bad probably » primary leferenoe to tbe doratian of 
the war of Adidod, may also denote tbe three separate campaigns made in Egypt (very 
Kkeiy in flnee soooessiTe yesrs), one by Kssr-baddoo, and two by Asdinr-banipaL 

ts Xafanm iiL 8-10. This important passsge is foUy discosseri in Dr. Smith's -Diet. 
of the KUe,' art. Xo Ammos, and Opperf s ' L'Egypte et l'Asi^yri&' Besides the dear 
allosioas to tbe aid wUch tbe Arabs and Libyans on the borders of Egypt (Put and 
XxMsi) ^Te to Assyria in the war against Thebes, M. Oppert has an ingenioiiB argnment 
to riaewtbat Ceu1kage(jaMined as Xartanit in tlie annals) Joined with Assyria to srenge 
the aUacks at TIrfaakah on the northern coasts of Africa; or at least that there were 
CifthaginiBa anxiHarles in the Asiyrian army. In Uiis event be sees the origin of stradi- 
tioB picjci f cd by Amifawny MsiceUiniH^ that Thebes bad oooe been taken and sacked 


princes of the Delta were now strong enough to repel her last 
attempt. The curious record of that attempt, lately discovered 
by M. Mariette on a stela at Napata, evidently conceals a decisive 

Rotmen, the sou of Tirhakah, having died without heirs, the 
crown of Ethiopia was assumed by a certain Amen-meri Nout^ 
in consequence of a prophetic dream, which had also promised him 
the two crowns of E^rpt. Marching down the Nile, he was received 
at Thebes with acclamations ; but he only gained Memphis after a 
bloody battle with the chiefs of the Delta, whom he drove into the 
Marshes." Bi\t he was unable to take their towns, and the inundation 
soon forced him to withdraw from Memphis. While preparing for a 
new attack, he received a large tribute from the chiefs, content with 
which he retired finally into Upper Egypt. 

In the long struggle which was thus ended, we cannot fail to see 
how essentially there was involved a contest between Upper Egypt, 
which sided with the old priestly party, and Lower Egypt, where a 
number of rival claimants were more or less influenced by connections 
with Assyria "^ and ideas derived from intercourse with foreign coun- 
tries. The triumph of these influences was the spirit of the new era, 
in which Egypt at last connects herself with Europe. She now pre- 
sents the aspect of a stage, from which the chief actors have just 
retired, and, after a last scene of confrision, the curtain rises again 
amidst the full light of well-known history. 

** Evidently the Ethiopian AmmeriSf Mrbom Manetho (Euseb.) places at the 
head of the XXVIth (Saite) Dynasty. 

B* Herodotas*s story of the blind King, Antsis a native of Anysis (perhaps 
Ei-h^, city oflsis, or Ranes, if Hanes be Daphnes) — who vras conquered by Sabaco, 
and took refage in the marshes, where the natives brought him food unbeknown 
to the Ethiopians, and whence he came forth and was restored after the forty years 
of Ethiopian domination — may perhaps refer to one of the minor princes of the 
Delta. At all events it is a testimony both to the perpetuation of the native royal 
houses in the Delta, and to the sympathy of the people with them during the 
Ethiopian rule. The information we have obtained f^om the Assyrian annals as 
to the state of Egypt gives a caution against hastily rejecting the notices in 
Herodotu s and Diodorus of kings otherwise unknown. The monuments, also, are 
constantly giving royal names which are rot in the lists of Manetho. 

*> We have traced such connections for at least 300 years, from the time of the 
Sheshonks. At the time before us several of the petty kings were clearly set up bj* 
Assyria. • 


BYNASTY— B.C. 666-527 or 525. 

5 I. TliB Dodeearchr. 

1 the Greek!, e«iw 

. DeMrtlon of tbe LBTP<i"i toiliUtT °""' ^'l' w UlemeDt In Ethiopls. 
ek Inicription. § 8. Works ot PsammoUchiu. .fimniJKiMCB of Egyptian 
g 9. Nechao n„ K " - ■ 

ot Hegiddo 

EapkTa(«B. uepaees jeuoanaz an 
Judib. § 10. Nmo'i power in As 
pheciei agaisit Egyp'^ §11- P"' 

i up Jebolaklia as trfbutaTy King of 
niDgauhed by Kebocbvdneuar, Fro- 
)pen1ag or the Red Sea Canal. § 13. 

Elli; the Olrnipic gamea. § 13. Reigo ot fai-pra-liat, FBUuoa'HoTain. 
or Afbiei, as related by Herodotus. SuecesHS against Gldan andllTn. *«« 
vitb Qireue. Mulin}' of Ibe EgrpUan anny. '£lciM\o& it ktaa^A. '^K«^ 
BfApriH. § U. Tbe seriplural •cconnt ol EtiaiMfc-BottCT.. laii 1ii.^sM.« 


with Zedekiah. Prophetio testimonies to the destruotiTe invasion of Egypt by 
Nebuchadnezzar. § 15. Am abis or Aahmes II. His early life and character. 
Union of business and pleasure. § 16. Prosperity of Egypt. Law against 
idleness. § 17. Encouragement of foreign commerce. Greeks allowed to 
reside at Naucratis, and to build temples. The B'ellenion. § 18. Flourishing 
state of Egyptian art. Works of Amasis. His g^ifts to Greek temples. 
Friendship with Polycrates. Alliance with Cyrene. § 19. League with Lydia 
and Babylon against Cyrus. Psahuenitus. Ck)nquest of Egypt by Cambyses. 
Dynasty XXVII. of Persians. § 20. Revolts against Persia. Dynasties 
XXriII. {Satte)j XXIX. {Mendesian)^ XXX. {Sebennyte). Final conquest by 
Ochus. XXXIst Persian Dynasty. Conquest by Alexander. 

§ 1. " In what follows," says Herodotus at this point, " I have the 
authority, not of the Egyptians only, but of others also who agree 
with them."^ The republican historian sarcastically remarks that the 
liberated Egyptians were unable to continue any longer without a 
king, and so they divided Egypt into twelve districts,' and set 
twelve kings over them, who ruled in peace, bound to each other 
by intermarriages and by the most solemn engagements. This 
Dodmarohy, as it is called, seems to have been a union of the petty 
princes of the Delta against the Ethiopian power in Upper Egypt. 
Of course it could not last ; and its end, after 15 years, is related by 
Herodotus in the spirit of the age. 

The voice of oracles had great weight in public affairs, but 
ambitious men had learnt how to bribe the oracles or to contrive the 
fulfilment of their ambiguous responses. The twelve chiefs had 
been the stricter in naaking their mutual engagements, as an oracle 
had predicted " that he among them who should pour in the temple 
of Phtha a libation from a cup of bronze would become monarch of 
the whole land of Egypt.'* They were wont to worship together in 
all the chief temples; and they had thus met in the temple of 
Phtha, when the high-priest (of course by accident) brought out 
only eleven golden goblets for the libations of the twelve kings. 
The one who stood last was Psammetichus, the son of that Nechao 
who had been put to death by Sabaco (or by Tirhakah). He forth- 
with took off his helmet of bronze, stretched it out to receive 
the liquor, and so made his libation. His colleagues remembered the 
oracle, and banished Psammetichus to the marshes. Meditating 
revenge, he sent to the oracle of Buto, the most veracious of all 
the Egyptian oracles, and received with incredulity the answer that 
" Vengeance would come from the sea, when brazen men should 
appear." Shortly afterwards, certain Carian and Ionian adventurers 
in search of plunder, being driven by stress of weather to Egypt, 
disembarked in their brazen armour ; and a terrified native carried 
the tidings to Psammetichus that brazen men had come from the 

» Herod, ii. 147. 

' Wilkinson supposes these to be the twelve nomes of the Delta. M. Lenormant 
supposes the twelve rulers to have been military chiefs of the Libyan (Maxyan) 
jnilitia. They would rather seem to have been tl)e cl)lef loct^l princes. 


sea, and were plondering the plain. Psammetichng engaged the 
strangers in bia service ; and by their aid, and that of the Egyptians 
who aided with him, he yanquished the eleven and made himself 
king of Egypt* 

§ 2. Such is the picturesque dress of the bare fact that Psamatik 
L, the aoQ of Nechao, or Necho I., and consequently the representa- 
tive of the Saite and Memphian monarchy, regained the throne of 
Egypt by the aid of Greek mercenaries, whose regular employment 
dates from his reign. His apparently Libyan name is thought by 
some to mark his origin from the Maxyan militia. We have seen the 
part played by his &ther in the late contests,^ and the son had taken 
lefiige in the marshes when Necho was put to death.' But now the 
politic diief formed a matrimonial alliance with the Ethiopians, 
whether after a successful campaign, or to avoid war, does not ap- 
pear ; and thus he reunited the whole of Egypt under the Twenty- 
sixth Dynasty, of Sais* He asserted his legitimate claim to the 
throne by ignoring the 17 years of the anarchy and dodecarchy, and 
dating his reign from the death of Tirhakah.'^ 

The chronology of the Salte kings is now pretty well fixed within 
a limit of doubt not exceeding two years ; the accession of Psam- 
metichus being from bx. 666 to 664, and the Persian conquest iu 
Bjc, 527 or 525. The succession of kings is as follows : — 

]. PHanmeticlniftL. . . 
3. Neoo (Phanob-Nediob) 

3. Fmnmetidnu IL . . 

4. AysieB (Vhantih'Bafbn) 

5. AnuMis (A«fames IL) . 

6. PMmnieoifeof . ... 

.54 666 or 664 

. 16 612 or 610 

6 696 or 594 

.19 590 or 588 

.44 571 or 569 

• 6 mo. 537 or 525 > 

' Herod. iL 147, 151, 152. Bespecting the obrioas inconsistencies and impro- 
baWHtif of the storf, and the whole qnestion of the prerioos emplojment of 
foreign aoziliaries, and mercenaries hj the Kings of Egypt, see Wilkinson's note 
on the passage, in Bawlinson's ' Herodotus.' 

4 See ehap. TiL § 17. 

* Herod, ii. 152. We have no podtire information of a relationship between 
One Salles of the XXTIth dynasty and Boochoris of the XXTVth ; bat it seems now 
qidte clear that the monarebj of Psammetiehas was a rerival of that founded by 
Boedftoris at Salt. Xanetho places Nechao next before Psammetiehas in his 
XXVIth Dynasty; the name being probably inserted to recognize his right rather 
tlian in order of time. So also before him stand Neeheptot and Stephmates, who 
may hare been princes of the Dodecarchy. Before^hem Eusebins places as the first 
King of the Dynasty "Ammeris, the Ethiopian," who is eridently the Ethiopian 
inrader A»ien'meri4iout, 

* We learn firom the monoments of Thebes that, during the Dodecarchy, Upper 
Egypt was goremed by the Ethiopian Piankh II., who reigned conjointly with 
his wife, AanemrittM (or Amunatu), sister of Shabaka, a woman of high intelli* 
gence, who had been sereral times regent of Upper Egypt ander the Ethiopian 
dynasty. It was their daaghter and heir, Shap-en-ap, (or Tape$utape$), that 
Paamatik I. married. ' See chap. TiL § 17. 

* The conpotation depends on the Apit'itdot, the nnmben gfren by Manfflio and 


§ 3. The very position of Sais, the last capital of independent 
Egypt, is significant of the foreign relations which now begin to be 
conspicuous* It was situate in 31° 4' N. lat., on the right bank of 
the Canopic, the most westerly branch of the Nile, more than 
40 miles from the sea. The great embankment, which raised it 
above the inundation, made tjie city conspicuous to voyagers as- 
cending the river ; and its site is still marked by the great mounds 
to the north of Sa-el-Hagar (Sa of' the stone),^ the village which 
preserves the old Egyptian name of Ssa^ the sacred city of Neith, 
whom the Greeks identified with Athena. The splendid temple of 
the goddess, which Amasis decorated with great works of art, besides 
building its magnificent propylaea,^ contained the tombs of the Saite 
kings," and the burial-place of Osiris, whose mysteries were cele- 
brated in a lake near the temple. 

" The remains are now confined to a few broken blocks, some 
ruins of houses, and a large enclosure surrounded by massive crude- 
brick walls. These last are about 70 feet thick, and of very solid 
construction. Between the courees of bricks are layera of reeds, 
intended to serve as binders. . . . The walls enclose a space 
measuring 2325 feet long by 1960; the north side of which is 
occupied by the lake mentioned by Herodotus. As he says it was 
of circular form, and it is now long and irregular, we may conclude 
that it has since encroached on part of the temenos, or sacred enclo- 
sures, where the temple of Minerva and the tombs of the Sa'ile kings 
stood. The site of the temple appears to have been in the low open 
space to the west, and parts of the wall of its temenos may be 
traced on two sides : it tsras about 720 feet in breadth, or a little 
more than that around the temple of Tanis. To the east of it are 
mounds, with remains of crude-brick houses, the walls of which 
are partially standing, and here and there bear evident signs of 
having been burnt. This part has received the name of * el Kala * 
(the citadel), from its being higher than the rest, and from the 
appearance of two massive buildings at the upper and lower end, 

Herodotos, and the Assyrian and Jewish annals. We have seen how the annals of 
Asshur-banl-pal bear on the beginning of the period : its end depends on the date of the 
Persian conquest^ which is usually placed in the Sth year of Gambyses (b.c. 525) ; but 
some of the higheEit authorities (as M. de Rouge) refer it to that king's 3rd year (b.c. 
527). The important testimony of a stela, which mentions a man as bom in the 3rd 
year of Neco, and dying in the 35 th of Amasis, seems to prove that the shorter of the 
two lengths assigned to the reign of Apries (19 years and 25 years) is to be preferred. 
Herodotus places the accession of Psammetichus 145^ years before the invasion of 
Gambyses, which carries us back to about b.c. 670. The difference is slight; and 
these long periods are seldom exact. The total would probably be lengthened by 
the owTlapping of reigns. 

^ So called from the broken blocks of stone that belonged to the ancient city. 

" Herod, ii. 175. 

11 Herodotus (ii. 169) particularly mentions those of Amasis, and of Apries and 
his family, and describes the latter. 

Chap. VIII. THE CITY OF SAlS. 143 

which seem to have been intended for defence. It is not impossible 
that this was the royal palace." ^'^ 

§ 4. At Sais was celebrated the " Feast of Lamps ** in honour 
of Neith, which Herodotus ranks third in honour among the annual 
festivals of Egypt ; and it must have been among the most beau- 
tiful. " At Sais, when the assembly takes place for the sacrifices, 
there is one night on which the inhabitants all burn a multitude of 
lights round their houses in the open air. They use lamps, which 
are flat saucers filled with a mixture of oil and salt, on the top of 
which the wick floats. These burn the whole night, and give to 
the festival the name of the Feast of Lamps. The Egyptians who 
are absent from the festival observe the night of the sacrifice, no less 
than the rest, by a general lighting of lamps; so that the illu- 
mination is not confined to the city of Sais, but extends over 
the whole of Egypt." ^^ 

• § 6. Lying on that branch of the Nilo along which was the 
direct route of the Greeks into Egypt, and a little above Naucratis, 
which was assigned for their abode, Sais was especially interesting 
to the Athenians from the identification of its patron goddess with 
their own.^* Their civic hero, Cecrops, was said to be a native of 
Sais ; and another tradition even made Sais a colony of Athens," so 
strong was the Hellenic element in the Egyptian city. How early 
the connection began it is impossible to say. Eusebius ^' says that, 
in the reign of Bocchoris, the Milesians became powerful at sea, and 
built the city of Naucratis ; but the reign of Psammetichus was 
certainly the epoch at which the Chinese-like exclusiveness of 
Egypt was broken through by the admission of foreigners to that 
harbour, whence they would proceed to the neighbouring capital. 
Pythagoras is said to have visited Sais in the reign of Amasis ;.'^ 
and there, about the same time, Solon conversed with a Saite 
priest,'^ from whom he learnt the fable of Atlantis and the 
primeval ^eno^vn of Athens.^ Diodorus mentions a number of 
instances, which shew the anxiety of the priests of Sais to ingratiate 
themselves with the Athenians, by discovering resemblances between 
Attic and Egyptian institutions.^^ Manetho says that the Greek 
population of Sais was governed by their own laws and magistrates, 
and had a separate quarter of the city assigned to them. 

§ 6. Diodorus thus describes the Hellenizing policy of Psam- 
metichus : — " He received with hospitality the strangers who came 

" Wilkinson's « Handbook to Egypt,' p. 102. " Herod, ii. 62. 

^* It has been observed that the essential letters of Neith and 'Adiji/a are the 
same in the inverse order. ^^ Compare Diod. i. 28, § 3, and v. 57, § 45. 

1^ Chron. Canon, under Olymp. vi. ^' Flin. xxxvi. 9, s. 14. 

18 Flat. Solon. 26. Herodotus (ii. 177) speaks of his adopting the law of 
Amasis, that all who could show no visible means of subsistence should be put to 
death. l» Plato, 'Timeeus' III. p. 25. » Died. 1. 28. 


to visit Egypt ; he loved Greece so much that "he caused his 
children to be taught its language.^^ He was the first of the 
Egyptian kings who opened to other nations emporia for their 
merchandise, and gave security to voyagers; for his predecessors 
had rendered Egypt inaccessible to foreigners by putting some to 
death, and condemning others to slavery." He kept on foot a large 
body of mercenaries, lonians^ and Carians, as well as Arabians, 
and assigned to his Greek soldiers two " camps " (as the abodes of 
foreign settlers were called) on the two banks of the Pelusiac branch, 
a little below Bubastis, evidently as a garrison for the eastern 

" From the date of the original settlement of these persons in 
Egypt," says Herodotus, " we Greeks, through our intercourse with 
them, have acquired an accurate knowledge of the several events of 
Egyptian history, from the reign of Psammetichus downwards ; but 
before his time no foreigners had ever taken up their residence in 
that land." 

Besides these Greeks, Psammetichus engaged Phoenician sailors ; 
and, with such forces at his command, he aspired to recover the 
empire of Western Asia, where the power of Assyria was in the last 
stage of its decline. But his enterprise was stopped on the very 
threshold by the resistance of the Philistine city of Azotus 
{AsTidod), the key to the great military route, which he only took 
after a siege of twenty-nine years.** 

§ 7. Meanwhile an event occurred which proved that the " new 
wine " of Hellenism, instead of infusing new Ufe-blood into Egypt, 
would "burst the old bottles "of her rigid institutions, and cause 
both to perish together. The favours heaped by Psammetichus upon 
his mercenaries roused the jealousy of the native military class, which 
broke out into open mutiny when, in his Syrian expedition, he 
gave the foreigners the post of honour on the right wing. Upon 
this the whole class of warriors, to the number of 200,000 (Hero- 
dotus says 240,000) deserted in a body, and marched away into 
Ethiopia. This is the account of Diodorus, which is not only 
more probable than the motive assigned by Herodotus for the 
desertion, but is confirmed by Herodotus's own statement, that 

21 Herodotus {loc, inf. cit.) says that he entrusted certain Egyptian children to 
his Greek soldiers to learn Greek ; and that those so taught became the parents 
of the class of "interpreters." 

22 lonians was now the Egyptian name for the Greeks in general. 

23 Herod, ii. 154. He adds that Amasis removed the Greeks to Memphis, to 
guard him against the native Egyptians. 

2-t Herod, ii. 157. He adds that this was the longest siege known. The cap- 
ture and colonisation of the city by Pargon accounts for its long resistance. Ashdod 
(which, like the Arabic shedeed, means strong) was the great stronghold of the 
Philistines (1 Sam. v. 2), and continued the main fortress on this frontier. It 
was repeatedly taken and retaken in the wars between Egypt and Asia. 


these Automdi (deserters) bore the name of Asmnch, meaning " the 
men on the left hand of the king " (or rather, the left wing of the 
army).** Herodotus adds that Psammetichus pursued and overtook 
them; but his entreaties that they would return were insolently 
repelled ; and they received from the King of Ethiopia the grant 
of the lands of certain Ethiopians with whom he was at feud. 
" From the time that this settlement was formed, their acquaintance 
with Egyptian manners has tended to civilize the Ethiopians," " 
is a remark which, however inaccurate, proves that Herodotus did 
not believe that the course of civilization was down the Nile. 

From a curious Greek inscription at Abou-Simbel, it appears that 
Psammetichus himself did not follow the deserters higher than 
Elephantine, but that the pursuit was continued to a considerable 
distence up the river, by his Greek soldiers, who, on their return, 
left this record of the adventure." The part of Ethiopia in which 
these deserters settled is hard to determine. Herodotus makes it 
as far above Meroe as Meroe is above Elephantine, which would be 
in Abyssinia.** Diodorus says that they settled in the most fertile 
part of Ethiopia, which would answer to the neighbourhood of 
M^oe; and the geographers mention a people called EuonymitoR 
(those on the left hand, equivalent to the Asmach of Herodotus), to 
the north-west of MeroS.*® 

§ 8. The desertion of the military caste was a reason why Psam- 
metichus should show the more favour to the priests. He erected 
propylaea to the great temple of Phtha at Memphis, and built or 
enlarged the edi6ce where the bull Apis was kept. The sacred 
books, and especially the Ritual of the Deadf appear to have been 
revised in his reign. In fact, the whole period of the twenty-sixth 
dynasty may be justly called the renaissance of the religious art of 

^ Herod, ii. 30. The motive which he assigns for the desertion is the non- 
relief for three years of the frontier garrisons, which were kept in Elephantine 
against the Ethiopians, in the Pelusiac Daphnee against the Syrians and Arabians, 
and in Marea against the Libyans ; who, he says, consulted together, and having 
determined by common consent to revolt, marched away towards Ethiopia ; — a 
highly improbable combination. 

•• Herod. I. e. 

^ For the inscription, see Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 30, Rawlinson. 
There is no reasonable doubt that it refers to the occasion in question. The 
king's name is spelt Psafnatichos, a form nearer the Egyptian than that of Hero- 
dotus. The names of ** PsatncUichus^ the son of Theocles," the leader of the force, 
as well as of ** Amasis " indicate that Egyptian names of honour were given to 
the Greek commanders, as in the case of Joseph. No inference can be drawn a^ 
to any connection of this '* Amasis " with the family of the later king of that 
name. The words describing the furthest point reached by the soldiers are un* 
fortonately obscure. 

^ It is possible that Herodotus may have confused Meroe with Napata, which 
&e ^oes not mention. (See chap. vii. § 13 note 47.) 

«» Strabo, xvii. p. 786 ; Plin. vi. 80. These writers, however, place the Auot- 
moli above Meroe. 



Egypt. Manetho assigns fifty- four years to his reign ; and his fifty- 
fourth year is found on the monuments. 

§ 9. Under Neku or Nechao II.,** the Necos of Herodotus, and 
the Pharaoh' Necho of the Bible, the Sa'ite monarchy reached its 
acmd, only to receive a decisive blow from the new power of Babylon. 
The capture of Ashdod had opened the road to Asia, and the fall of 
Nineveh, whether accomplished or impending, left the empire of 
Western Asia once more, as a Greek would have said, " in the midst," 
a^ the prize of a contest between Egypt and Babylon.^^ Neco set 
out for the Euphrates along the weli-wom road through the mari- 
time plain and the valley of Esdraelon. Here, however, he encoun- 
tered an unexpected obstacle. Josiah, the reforming King of Judah, 
faithful to his liege, and ardent in the anti-Egyptian policy pre- 
scribed by the prophets to his house, marched out to withstand 
him. Disregarding the friendly remonstrance of Neco, except so far 
as to disguise his own person, the King of Judah marched down 
from the highlands of Manasseh by the pass which issues near 
Megiddo, only to be carried off in his chariot, mortally wounded by 
the Egyptian archers.*^ 

Having won this last of Egypt's victories in Asia on the old 
battle-field of Thothmes III., Neco advanced to Carchemish, the 
object of his expedition,^ and once more posted an Egyptian 

' ^ Herodotus calls him the son of Fsammeticlins ; bat he appears from the 
monuments to have been his son-in-law, as he married NeU-akri (Nitocris), the 
daughter of Psammetichas. But it is quite possible that he may have married his 
half-sister. We adopt the simplest spelling of the name. 

SI The text Is so worded as not to involve a decision of the doubt respecting the 
epodi of the fj&ll of Nineveh. Those who adopt the date of b.c. 625 regard Nabopo* 
lassar as too much engaged with the consolidation of his new power, and with the 
aid he rendered to Cyaxarefl in the Lydian war, to concern himself with the pro- 
vinces west of the Euphrates. On the other band, the express statement in the book 
ot Kings, that "Pharaoh Nechoh went up against the king of Assyria," is a strong 
ailment for the later date of the fall of Nineveh (b.c. 606) : for the date of Josiah's 
death is fixed both by Egyptian and Biblical chronology (see note 35). The Jewish 
writers do not confound Assyria and Babylon. (2 Kings xxili. 29 : in 2 Chron. xxxv. 20, 
Kecho goes up " to fight against Cardiemish," neither Assyria nor Babylon being 
mentioned.) It seems probable that Neco would have used the opportunity for joining 
in the general attack on Assyria, when, as Herodotus says, " she stood alone, deserted 
by her allies " (Herod, i. 102). Comp. chap. xiv. § 20. 

*' 2 Kings xxiii. 29, 30 ; 2 Chron. xxxv. 20-24. The latter passage is remark- 
itble for giving the name of the king without the title of Pharaoh. Herodotus 
(ii. 159) says that Necos made war by land upon the Syrians^ and defeated them 
in a pitched battle at Magdolus (evidently not here, as elsewhere, Migdol, in 
Egypt), after which he made himself master of Cadytis, a large city of Syria. 
This is commonly supposed to mean Jerusalem {Kodesh or KadushOj the ffoly) ; 
but some take it for Kadesh on the Orontes, the old capital of the Hittites. It 
may have been worth Neco*s while to complete the conquest of Syria ; but it 
seems more probable that he would not delay his march to the Euphrates. He 
may, however, have taken Kadesh on his return through CkBle-Syria (see what 
follows in the text). In the other passage where Herodotus mentions Cadytis 
(iii. 5), tiaza is generally supposed to be meant. ^ 2 Chron. xxxv. 20. 


garrison in that key to the line of the Euphrates. Returning 
through Ccele-Syria (Hamath), Neco sent for Jehoahaz, whom the 
people had made king at Jerusalem, and put him in bonds, making 
his brother Eliakim (who was now called Jchoiakim) king in his 
place ; and imposed a heavy tribute on Judah. He then returned 
to Egypt, taking with him Jehoahaz, who died there.** 

§ 10. The recovery of the boundary of the Eui)hrates was but a 
dying gleam of military glory for the Saito Pharaohs. Four years 
later (b.c.604) Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne of Babylon ;" 
having, in the previous year, before his father's death, crushed 
the Egyptian army at Carchemish,^ marched on to Jerusalem^ 
received the submission of Jehoiakim, and at one blow stripped 
Egypt of all power in Asia. In the emphatic words of the sacred 
annalist, — " The king of Egypt came not again any more out of his 
land; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the river of Egypt 
unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt."*' 
The brief warlike enterprise of Neco was out of date, and left nothing 
but its fame. *' Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath 
passed the time appointed," says Jeremiah,** in the great prophecies 
delivered while the armies were marshalled at Carchemish for the 
** sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts in the north country by the river 
Euphrates ;" in which he predicts the invasion of Egypt by Nebu- 
chadnlBzzar, and her destruction like one of her own sacred heifers ; 
the fall of Memphis, and the punishment of Thebes and Pharaoh 
and Egypt, with their gods and all that trust in Pharaoh.* The 
prophecy was fulfilled in the time of Pharaoh-Hophra or Apries, the 
second from Neco. 

§ 11. In the works of Neco at home we trace those new move- 
ments of foreign intercourse, which give to the Sa'ite dynasty its 
peculiar character. Foremost among them was his attempt to re- 
open and complete the canal connecting the Mediterranean and the 
Bed Sea, which had been begun and perhaps completed by Set! I. 
and Rameses 11.^ The canal, which was four days' journey in 

** 2 Kings xxiii. 80-85 ; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 1-4. There k nothing to show that 
Keoo yiiited Jerusalem. From this time to the captivity the course of etents in 
Judeea was mainly influenced by the struggles between the Egyptian and Babylo« 
nian parties, as before between the Egyptian and Assyrian parties, at Jerusalem. 
Jeremiah is now, as Isaiah was before, the great opponent of the Egyptianizing 
priests and princes. 

** In Jerem. xxv. 1-8, the fourth year of Jehoiakim is reckoned as the first of 
Nebuchadnezzar, and also as the 23 rd year from the 18th year of Josiah. Sup* 
posing the fourtli of Jehoiakim to be current at Nebuchadnezzar's accession (Jan. 
B.C. 604), it follows that the first of Jehoiakim was b.o. 608-007 ; and, adding 
the three months of Jehoahaz, we have the beginning of b.o. 608, or the rery end 
of B.C. 600 as the earliest possible date for Josiah's death. 

«• Jerem. xlvi. 1, 2, 6, 10. »' 2 Kings xxiv. 7. »» Jerem. xlvi. 17. 

«• Jerem. xlvi. 1-27. 

^ Herod, ii. 158 i iv. 39. The miatake of Herodotus, in saying that Neco waa 



length, and wide enough to admit of two triremes being rowed 
abreast, left the Pelnsiac branch of the Nile a little above Bubastis, 
and was carried by a circuitous route, first eastwards and then 
southwards, to the head 6f the Gulf of Suez.*^ It cost the lives of 
a hundred and twenty thousand of the Egyptians during the reigu 
of Neco, who at length desisted on account of an oracle, which 
warned him that he was labouring for the barbarians : ** — a sign of 
the growth of foreign commerce, and probably of the obstructive 
power of the old Egyptian party. 

§ 12. Neco maintained fleets both in the Mediterranean and the 
Erythraean Seas; and Herodotus says that the docks on the Bed 
Sea for the latter fleet were visible in his time.** To his Bed Sea 
fleet Herodotus ascribes the most signal achievement of ancient mari- 
time discovery — the circumnavigation of Africa.** The story is that 
Neco, when disappointed of connecting the Mediterranean and East- 
em Seas by his canal, sent to sea a fleet manned by Phoenicians, 
with orders to make for the Pillars of JSercules, and return to Egypt 
through them and by the Northern Sea (i.e, the Mediterranean). 
They sailed through the Erythraean Sea into the Southern Ocean. 
When autunm came, they went on shore, wherever they might be, 
and, having sown a tract of land with corn, waited until the grain 
was fit to cut.*'^ Having reaped it, they again set sail ; and thus it 
came to pass that two whole years went by, and it was not till the 
third year that they doubled the Pillars of Hercules and made good 
their voyage home. True to his principle of honestly reporting even 

the first to constrtict the canal, arose from its being filled np by the sandy soil, so 
that the attempt to open it was virtually a new work. Aristotle, Strabo, and 
Pliny, ascribe its commencement to Sesostris, and monuments of Rameses II. 
mark its course. Its completion by Darius is still a disputed question. There 
is on the Suez stone, near its ancient mouth, a cuneiform inscription with the 
name of *' Daryaoush naga wazarka" (Darius the Great King), stating that he 
completed it, but filled up a part of it again ; which may be a mode of evading a 
confession of failure. For an account of the course and history of the canals, see 
Wilkinson's Note to Herod, ii. 158, and • Handbook for Egypt,* pp. 194-196. 

*^ The modem canal of M. de Lesseps, opened in November, 1869, proceeds, 
not from the Nile, but southwards from Lake Menzaleh to join the course of the 
old canal where it bends to the S. near the Bitter Lakes, between which and Suez 
it is said to have been still open as late as the time of Mohammed Ali. The 
ancient canal was of fresh water. 

^ Herod, ii. 158. Diodorus ascribes the cessation of the work to the discovery 
that the level of the Red Sea was higher than the soil of Egypt ; and Pliny 
repeats the statement in connection with its resumption by Ptolemy Philadelphus, 
an imaginary reason for a doubtful fact. Herodotus in the one case and Strabo 
in the other, assert that both kings did open the canal to the Red Sea : nor 
would the difference of level (if real) have bieen an obstacle, for wc learn, from 
Diodorus himself, as well as from Strabo, that there were sluices at the mouth 
of the canal, probably to keep out the sea-water and to suit the change of level 
at the time of the inundation. 

« Herod, ii. 159. « Herod, iv. 42. 

♦« Wilkinson observes that this is less surprising in an African climate, where 
barley, doora, peas, &c., are reaped in fh>m 3 months to 100 days after sowing. 


what he deemed incredible, the historian has added the very circnm- 
stance which affords the strongest argument against his own incre- 
dulity : " on their return they declared — for my part, I don't believe 
them — ^that in sailing round Libya they had the sun upon their right 
hand " — ^which would be a simple astronomical fact.^ It is remark- 
able that the king, who is said to have been so fully occupied with 
his wauB and maritime expeditions, has left no great buildings : but 
his 16th year appears upon an Apis^tela; and this is the length 
assigned by Manetho to his reign. 

The growing influence of Greek ideas is shewn by the statement 
of Herodotus, that Neco dedicated the dress, which he wore in the 
campaign of Megiddo, to Apollo at Branchidfie near Miletus. His 
son, PSAiCMiB, is represented as discussing with an embassy from 
Elis the fairness of the rules for the Olympic games.^^ This king, 
the PsAM ATiK II. of the monuments, and the Psammuthis of Mane- 
tho, reigned only 6 years, and died soon after his return from an 
expedition against Ethiopia.^ He made several additions to the 
temples at Thebes (at Kamak) and in Lower Egypt. 

§ 13. His son and successor was Wah-fba-hat (the Sun enlarges 
his heart), the PJiaraoh^Hbphra of Scripture, the Vaphris of Manetho, 
and the Apries of Herodotus, who esteemed him as, excepting Fsam- 
metichus, his great-grandfather, the most prosperous of all the kings 
that ever ruled over Egypt.^ He marched an army to attack Sidon, 
and fought a battle with the king of Tyre at sea.^ At length he 
came in conflict with the Greek colony of Gyrene, on the northern 
shore of Libya. His protection was sought by the natives, who had 
^been driven out by the rapid growth of the colony ; and he levied a 
vast army of Egyptians^ and sent them against Gyrene.*' The 

^ We most not, hoivever, lay too much stress on the ai^ument, that such 
statements could hardly hare been invented had they not been tme. An Egyptian 
mariner, accostCHned to the Red Sea, the g^reater part of which lies within the 
tropics, wonld know that the sun was sometimes to the north of the zenith, and 
might infer that it was always so to an observer sufficiently far south. After all 
that has been written by Major Rennell and others, respecting the aid derived from 
the currents round the African coast, and so forth, the great argument — unless the 
■tory be an entire fabrication — ^is the statement that the fleet did get round to the 
mouth of the Nile. (See farther in the * Diet, of Greek and Boman Geography,* 
art. LiBTA.) « Herod, ii. 160. 

^ Herod, ii. 161. His name frequently occurs at Syene, as well as those of 
Psamatik I. and Amasis. . 

** Herod, ii. 161. Here, as also in his account of the unexampled prosperity of 
Egypt under Amasis, it would seem that Herodotus, having once fixed his limit for 
the trustworthy history of Egypt at the accession of Psammetichus, tacitly ignores 
all the older traditions of the priests. He eonld not have meant to imply, for 
example, that these Saite kings were more prosperous than Sesoetris, had he 
really believed his own story of Sesoatris. 

M He also appears to have attacked Cyprus, which was an old dependency of 

*^ Herod, iv. 159. Here we see that a new native army had been formed, pro- 


native warrior class once more found themselves in arms, far from 
the seat of royal power, and the old jealousy burst forth on the first 
occasion. Despising their unknown enemy, they suffered a severe 
defeat from the Greeks ; and, like so many beaten armies since, they 
cried that they were betrayed — the king had, of malice prepense, sent 
them into the jaws of destruction. " They believed hi had wished 
a vast number of them to be slain, in order that he might reign with 
more security over the rest of the Egyptians." They returned in 
open revolt, and were joined by the friends of the slain .^ 

They were met by an envoy of the king, who happened to bear the 
name of the founder of the XVIIIth dynasty, Amasis (i. e, Aahmes), 
As he was haranguing the mutineers, a soldier, coming behind him, 
placeda crown upon his helmet and proclaimed him king. Amasis, not 
displeased, led the army against Apries, and dismissed with insult a 
second envoy, Patarbemis, who was sent to bring him alive to the king. 
The cruelty with which Apries wreaked his rage on Patarbemis drove 
the loyal Egyptians over to the rebels, and the king was left at Sais 
with his 30,000 Greek and Carian mercenaries.*® He led them out 
to meet the vastly superior numbers of Amasis at Momemphis (on 
the edge of the desert), where he was utterly defeated, and brought 
back a prisoner to the palace at Sais. Amasis treated him kindly at 
first ; but, yielding to the remonstrances of the Egyptians, he gave 
Apries into their hands. "Then the Egyptians took him and 
strangled bim, but, having so done, they buried him in the sepulchre 
of his fathers." '^ 

§ 14. On the story thus told by Herodotus, Scripture throws a new 
light. The successful expedition against Sidon and Tyre " was part 
of an effort to recover the supremacy of Western Asia, in which 
Pharaoh-Hophra ventured to measure himself against Nebuchadnez- 
zar. He espoused the cause of Zedekiah in the Jewish king's rebellion 
against Nebuchadnezzar ; " and, when Jerusalem was invested, the 
approach of an Egyptian army under Pharaoh-Hophra forced the 
Chaldaeans to raise the siege.*^ But the relief was momentary ; *® 
the king of Egypt did not venture to meet the army of Nebuchad- 

bably Arom the children whom the deserters are expressly said to have left behind 
them ; and Apries would naturally send them, rather than his Greek mercenaries, 
against a Greek state. '^ Herod, ii. 161 ; iv. 159. 

»» Herod, ii. 163, 163. ^ Herod, ii. 169. 

** The sea-fight with the King of Tyre is connected with the question of Nebu- 
chadnezzar's 13 years' siege of Tyre and its alleged eapture in b.c. 585. It 
seems to imply that Tyre had submitted to Nebuchadnezaar as a vassal, and that 
Apries attacked its fleet as being a powerfal auxiliary to the King of Babylon. 

" The terms of the compact are stated by Ezekiel (xvii. 15) : — " He (Zedekiah) 
rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give 
him horses and much people." It is doubtful, on chronological grounds, whether 
the first league of Zedekiah with Egypt does not fall in the reign of Fsam- 
metlchus II. 

A' Jerem. xxxvii. 5. ^ Jerem. xxxvlL 5-8; Ezek. xvii. 11-18. 


nezzar in the field, and the only further help he gave was to receive 
the remnant who took refuge in Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem.** 

He had done enough to draw upon him the chastisement which 
is described by the Jewish prophets.** The arrogance of Pharaoh- 
Hophra, in the time of his prosperity, is denounced in language 
precisely answering to that of the Greek historian. Herodotus tella 
us " that Apries believed that there was not a god who could cast 
him down from his eminence, so firmly did he think he had esta- 
blished himself in his kingdom ; " *^ but Ezekiel speaks in the name 
of the God who declares himself against " Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 
the great crocodile that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath 
said. My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself." ^ It is 
expressly declared that the land and spoil and people of Egypt, with 
Amun in Thebes, and all their gods, should be given into the hand 
of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, as a reward for his fruitless 
service against Tyre ; ^ and the king's own fate is thus predicted : — 
" Behold, I will give Pharaoh-Hophra, king of Egypt, into the hand 
of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life ;"•* and, 
after the land of Egypt had been desolated " from Migdol to Syene 
and the boraer of Ethiopia," it was to be restored as " the basest of 
the kingdoms " — that is, a subject and tributary state — ^never more 
to " exalt itself to rule over the nations." •* 

These and several other passages in the prophecies clearly attest 
the fact that Egypt was invaded, conquered, and devastated by 
Nebuchadnezzar,** who probably seized the opportunity offered by 
the disastrous campaign against Gyrene and the civil war between 
Apries and Amasis,*^ and confirmed the latter in the kingdom §fi his 

*• Jerem. xliii. 5-7. •• Jerem. xliii., xlir., xlvl. ; Ezek. xxix.-xxzU. 

«» Herod, u. 169. •« Ezek. xxlx. 8. 

<s Jerem. xlvi. 25, 26 ; Ezek. xxix. 18, 19. The latter passage is important 
for the question whether Tyre was taken by Nebuchadnezzar. (Comp. below 
c. XV. § 11.) This prophecy seems also to clearly mention Lydia {Lud) as the 
ally of Egypt (Ezek. xxx. 5). 

M Jerem. xliv. 30. 

*^ Ezek. xxix. 13-16. Difficalties arise from the 40 years assigned as the 
X)eriod of desolation, and from the strong langruage in which that desolation is 
described, especially when compared with Herodotus's account of the prosperity 
of Egypt under Amasis. But the historian is describing the internal state of the 
country, while the prophet refers mainly to her political subjection ; and the 
former speaks of a time when the long reign of Amasis, corresponding very nearly 
to the 40 years of the prophecy, had healed the wounds of Nebuchadnezzar's 
invasion with a completeness only attainable in such a country as Egypt. As to 
the date of the invasion, we only know, from Ezek. xxix. 17, that the prophecy 
was still unfulfilled in the 27th year of the Great Captivity, B.C. 571, that is, 
about two years before the accession of Amasis. 

** This invasion is mentioned by Berosus, who says that Nebuchadnezzar 
conquered Egypt and put Apries to death. Comp. c. xv. § 12. 

<^' Another theory is that the Babylonian invasion was the cause of the dls* 
affection of the Egyptians towards Apries. 


vassal. That the connection of the two kingdoms was drawn closer 
by marriage is shown by the famous Babylonian queen, who bears 
the Saite name of Nitocris (Neit-akriy ije, " Neith the Victorious "). 
With Apries, to whom Herodotus assigns 25 years,*® ended the direct 
line of the Saite house, just about a century after the accession of 
Psammetichus I. (b.c. 569). 

§ 15, Amasis, or Aahmes U., ends " the long majestic line of 
Egypt's kings," with the name of the great founder of the Theban 
monarchy — a coincidence which may have soothed the old Egyptian 
party who had raised him to the throne, though the name was borne 
by a vassal to Babylon. His place in the SaKte dynasty was confirmed 
by his marriage with Ankhs-^eiv-Banofreliet, the daughter of Psammeti- 
chus 11.,^ and he adopted the title of NeiUse (son of Neith). He was 
a native of Siouph, in the SaKte nome, and belonged to a house of no 
high distinction. Finding that this lessened his consideration with 
his subjects, he caused (says Herodotus) a golden footpan to be made 
into the image of a god, and when the Egyptians flocked to worship 
the image, he called them to an assembly, and, by comparing its 
<)liai)ge of condition to his own, won the respect which was due, at 
all events, to his cleverness. 

In his youth he had been fond of pleasure, and had roamed about 
to rob people when his resources failed him. When charged with 
such an offence, his denial was brought to the test before the 
nearest oracle ; and, when he became king, in the same spirit which 
we see in Croesus, he honoured or neglected the temples of the gods 
according as they had succeeded or failed in detecting his crimes. 
He carried his love of pleasure to the throne ; but did not permit it 
to interfere with business, nor hia business with his pleasure. From 
early dawn to the busy time of the forenoon— the ** full market," as 
the Greeks called the third hour after sunrise — he sedulously trans- 
acted all the business that was brought before him: during the 
remainder of the day he drank and joked with his guests, often 
beyond the limits of propriety. To the friends who would have had 
the Egyptians always see him in royal dignity upon his throne, he 
replied by the celebrated metaphor of the mischief of keeping a bow 
always bent. 

§ 16. Such a spirit suited the subject state of Egypt ; and, first as 
an unambitious vassal, afterwards favoured by the declining power of 
Babylon, Amasis raised the country to a very high state of material 

** We prefer this date to Manetho's 19 years, both from its better agrreeroent 
Trith the Scripture chronology, and from the constant corruption of Manetho's 

^* According to some authorities, this princess was the daughter of a King 
Psammetichus III., whose name is found on some monuments at Thebes. His 
place in the series — whether before, or after, or contemporary with Apries — is 
very doubtful. 

Chap. ym. REIGN OF AMASIS. 153 

prosperity, and adorned the temples with admirable works of art. 
Herodotus reports the saying, " that the reign of Amasis was the 
most prosperoas time that Egypt ever saw — the river was more 
liberal to the land, and the land brought forth more abundantly for 
the service of man, than had ever been known before, while the 
number of inhabited cities was not less than 20,000."'° However 
this prosperity may have been exaggerated by the priests, who 
dwelt with fond regret on the period just before the Persian con- 
quest, we have abundant evidence of Egypt's wealth, both from the 
tombs of private persons at Thebes, and from the vast booty carried 
off by the army of Gambyses. 

The rule of Amasis was as hostile to idleness as thnt of any of 
the old Pharaohs. Herodotus ascribes to him the law (which Solon 
adopted) requiring all Egyptians to present themselves once a year 
before the governor of their nome, and to show their means of 
living, on pain of death ; but the monuments exhibit such registra- 
tion-scenes at a much earlier date."^ 

§ 17. A main source of this prosperity, besides the irrepressible 
fertility of Egypt, was the full development which Amasis gave to 
the commercial policy begun by Psammetichus. He permitted the 
Oreeks to settle at Naucratis, below Sais, on the Canopic branch of 
the Nile, to which chanuel their commerce was restricted.'* As was 
usual with the ancient nations, the concession of a residence to 
foreigners involved the free exercise of their worship; but Amasis 
also granted sites for temples to those who wished only to trade 
upon the coast, without taking up their residence in Egypt. The 
most famous and most frequented of such temples was the HeUeniony 
built conjointly by the lonians, Dorians, and iEolians of Asia Minor, 
and the contributing cities had the right of appointing the govemonj 
of the factory with which the temple was connected. Separate 
temples were erected by the ^ginetans to Jove ; by the Samiaus to 
Hera ; and by the Milesians to Apollo.^^ 

§ 18. Such works, executed at a time when Grecian art was 
approaching its acme, must have had some influence on the art of 
Egypt, and thus Greece repaid a part of an ancient debt. The 
Egyptian monuments of this age, while retaining their national 
style and conventional forms, are distinguished by a new freedom, 
and grace, especially in those figures which were unfettered by 

ro Herod, ii. 177. 

71 Wilkinson suggests that Aahmes I. (Amosis) may have been the author of 
the law ; but we have seen that the Old Monarchy of Memphis was equally 
intolerant of idleness. 

« Herod, ii. 178, 179. Wilkinson observes that this restriction, which re- 
sembles the policy of the Chinese towards Eurot)ean8, was also a wise precaution 
against the Greek pirates who infested the Mediterranean. The exact position of 
Naucratis is unknown. '* Herod, ii. 178. 

H 3 


hieratic rules. Nor did the Egyptian artist want for occupation 
under Amasis, who emulated the old kings in the colossal size 
of his works. At Memphis he built a vast temple to Isis, and 
adorned the temple of Phtha with colossal statues.''* At Sais, he 
built the propylaea of the temple of Neith, "an astonishing work, 
far surpassing all other buildings of the same kind both in extent 
and height, and built with stones of rare size and excellency " 
{Herod.). He also repaired the temple with stones of a most 
extraordinary size, some of limestone from the quarries opposite 
Memphis, but the largest were granite blocks from Elephantine. 
Of these huge masses the most wonderful was a monolith chamber, 
the conveyance of which from Elephantine to Sais (commonly a 
voyage of twenty days) occupied 2000 labourers three years, and 
after all an omen prevented its being placed in the temple.^^ Amasis 
also placed there several immense andro-sphinxes, and other colossal 
statues, among which was a recumbent colossus of the same size as 
that at Memphis.'* 

While thus adorning the sanctuaries of his native gods, he gave 
100 talents (about 25,000^.) towards the rebuilding of the temple at 
Delphi, which was burnt in B.C. 548, and he dedicated stetues and 
other works of art to various Greek deities : — ^to Athena at Lindus, 
in regard for the tradition that the temple was built by the 
daughters of Danaiis, when they touched there on their flight from 
the sons of -<Egyptus ; — to Hera at Samos, in memory of his friend- 
ship for the ill-fated Polycrates, an episode in ancient history made 
famous by Herodotus and Schiller;'' — and to Athena at Cyrene, 
with which state he formed a close alliance, marrying Ladice, the 
daughter of the king or of a Cyrenaic noble, " either as a sign of 
frigidly feeling, or because he had a fancy to marry a Greek 

§ 19. But his foreign policy was not entirely pacific. He used 
the navy, which Neco had founded, to take Cyprus, which was a 

7* Herod. U. 176. One of these was a recumbent colossus 75 feet long, in 
front of the temple— an attitude so unusual that (as Wilkinson suggests) the 
monolith was probably left on the ground on aooount of the troubles which soon 
befel Egypt, a reason which the priests would sot confess to Herodotus. The 
others were two pairs of twin colossi on the same base, 20 feet high, carved in 
the stone of Ethiopia, on each side of the temple. 

'^ So Herodotus was told ; but the true reason was probably that mentioned in 
the preceding note. A similar monolith of the same king at Thmui's or Leonto- 
polis {Tel-et-Mai), measures 21 feet 9 inches high, 13 feet broad, and 11 feet 7 
Inches deep, externally. The dimensions given by Herodotus are equal to 31 feet 
6 inches high, 22 feet broad, and 12 feet deep, outtide, and intide 28 feet 3 inches, 
18 fuet, and 7^ feet. What he calls the length was the height^ when the chamber 
stood erect. ^* Herod, ii. 175. 

* 7 Herod, iii. 89-43 ; Schiller, < T>a8 King des Polykrates ; ' see Lord Lytton*s 
translations of Schiller's ballads. 

'« Herod, li. l&O. 


dependency of Phoenicia, and to reduce it to tribute.''* In the final 
effoi-t to resist the Persian conqueror Cyrus, Amasis appears as the 
ally of the Lydian Croesus and the Babylonian Nabonidus, the latter 
being still probably his nominal suzerain. If we may believe 
Xenophon, Amasis sent to the aid of Croesus a force of 120,000 
Egyptians, who, after a very brave resistance, were admitted to an 
honourable capitulation, and settled in Larissa and Cyllene. Amasis 
seems afterwards to have been on friendly terms with Cyrus, to 
whose aid he sent one of the famous Egyptian eye-doctors." But 
this man's resentment is said to have suggested the pretext which 
the ambition of Cambyses found for the attack which he meditated 
from the beginning of his reign. Amasis died just as the invasion 
began (b.c. 527 or 525), leaving the inheritance of a lost throne to 
his son PsAMMENiTirs, who was defeated at Pelusium, and put 
to death with every indignity, after a nominal reign of six months. 

§ 20. The story of the conquest, and of the renewed attempts 
of Egypt to throw off the yoke, belong to the history of Persia, 
llie Persian kings, from Cambyses to Darius II. Nothus, are 
enrolled as the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Manetho. The ensuing 
revolts are recognised in the Twenty-eighth (^Saite) Dynasty, con- 
sisting only of Amyrtaeus, who restored the independence of Egypt 
(b.c. 414-408), and the Twenty-ninth (^Mendesian) and Thirtieth 
(^Sebennyte) Dynasties (about B.C. 408-353),** of whose intricate 
history we need only here say that they ruled with great prosperity 
and have left beautiful monuments of art.** The last king of inde- 
pendent Egypt was Nectanbbo II., who succumbed to the inyasion 
of Artaxerxes Ochus, and fled to Ethiopia (b.c. 353). The last 
tiiree kings of Persia, Ochus, Arses, and Darius Codomannus, fonn 
the Thirty-first Dynasty of Manetho, ending with the submission 
of Egypt to Alexander the Great (b.c. 332). 

His foundation of Alexandria prepared the three centuries of 
prosperity which Egypt enjoyed under the Ptolemies (b.c. 323 to 
B.C. 30) ; till Mark Antony bartered the chance of a new Eastern 
Empire, with its seat in Egypt, for the charms of Cleopatra at the 
battle of Actium ; which made Egypt a Roman province, and decided 
the victory of European progress over the despotic spirit and bar- 
barian immobility of the East. 

" Herod, ii. 182. 

** Herod, iii. 1. Ophthalmia has always been one of the plagues of Egjpt. 
Wilkinson ascribes it to the transition from excessive dryness to damp. 
. *i See Book III. chap, xxriii. 
*2 The British Mosenm is particularly rich in their monoments. 

<* Funeral Boat, or Baris," 



SmtionI. Social iKSTiTUTXONfi, § 1. Character of the Egyptians. § 2. Common 
Tiew of c^te called in question. But the hereditary system of occupations the 
general rule. S 3^ daases enumerated hy the Greek writers. The lower 
classes distinguished from the priests and warriors. Agniculturists and 
herdsmen. § i. Occupations depicted on the monuments. Unenumerated 
classes. Independent proprietors. City Populace. § 5. ^e highest Class : 
the Frietts. Their landed property and other resources. Their ritual ohser- 
Tances. Monogamy^ Sacerdotal Colleges. § 6. The second or Jfi/t^ary C^a«s. 
Hermotyhians and Calasirians. Distribution of the forces ; — Land ; Body- 
guard ; Allowances ; Auxiliaries, and Mercenaries. 

Bkotion II. Political Institutions. § 7. Power of the King. His divinity. 
Distance above his subjects. No independent nobility. ^ 6. Sacerdotal rules 
for the King's daily life. " The King can do no wrong." Fiction of a 
posthumous judgment by the people. § 9. Hereditary Succession. Royal 
Princes. Election. Initiation into sacerdotal knowledge. The King bound to 
govern according to law. Stability of the government. § 10. Egyptian legis- 
lation. Admired and copied by the Greeks. Likeness to the Mosaic laws. 
Criminal code. Forced labour in the mines^ Curious law of theft. Civil law. 
Debtor and Creditor. § 11. Independence of the judicial administration. 
Court of the Thirty. Course of procedure ; wholly in writing. Reports of 
two trials. § 12. General AdministreUion by the corporation of Scribes. 
Chief departments. Sources of Revenue. §'19i. Division of Egypt into 
Nomes. Nomarchs and Toparchs. Central Representation at the Labyrinth. 
The people excluded from the government. 

Section III. Reugiovs Institutions. § 14. Greek- view of the popular super- 
stitions. Esoteric religion of the priests. Doctrine of one self^existing God. 
*' I AM that I AK." § 15. His unity lost in His manifestations. Symbolical 
spirit of Egyptian iK)lytheism and idolatry. Triads of deities ; fother, mother, 
and son. § 1 6. Doctrine of a future life : symbolised by the course and 
power of the Sun. His various personifications, JKo, Atown, Kheper. Inert 
Matter the universal Mother. Created and viAified by Noum^ the first demi- 
urgus : symbol, the Bam. The region of darkness and death personified in 
Athor (symbol, the Cbir), mother of Horns. Boat of Osiris. Fable of Osiris, 
Isis, Horas, and Typhon. § 17. The chief Egyptian Triads— {\.) Of Thebes : 
^mun, Jfattf, Chons. (ii.) Of Memphis: Fhtha^ Posht, Mwvth. ;>vv.^ Of 


Hermonthis : Months BUho, and HoruM, (ir.) Universal triad of 0«tm, /fit, 
and Honu. Three orders of deities. The eight great gods. § 18. Animal 
Worship of the Egyptians. Various explanations. Theory of utility, inade- 
quate. § 19. True origin of the practice in symbolism. Three stages. Cases 
of positiTe incarnation. The boll Apis. His rerelation, maintenance, and 
burial. His new manifestation as Osir-Hapi, the Sfrapis of the Greeks. 
§ 20. Care of the sacred animals. Laws for their protection. Sacrilege of 
Cambyses. The Roman soldier. Description of Clemens Alexandrinus. §31. 
Sacrifloes and worship. Circumcision. Embalmment. Doctrine of immor- 
tality and resurrection— and of ftitore rewards and punishments. Judgment 
of the Dead. Fate of the wicked. Trials and bliss of the just. His identifi- 
cation with " Osiris the Good." 

GtecnoK lY. EoTPTiAif Art. § 22. Antiquity and excellence of Egyptian art. Its 
religious source. Architseittrs : monumental and permanent in its forms — 
but not wanting in grace. S 23. Four classes of buildings : pyramids, tombs, 
palaces, and temples. Description of an Egyptian temple. Buildings attached. 
Sphinxes, obelisks, and colossi. § 24. Sculpture : its religious character, 
and development trom. the temple. Its symbolic spirit. Repose and absence 
of detaiL Symmetry and rhythmical postures. § 25. Five epochs of Egyptian 
Sculpture. § 26. Painting : chiefly decorative. Colours and pigments. 
Painted taUets and vignettes. 

SxcTiOK V. WaiTiKo, LrrKRATi'RK, and Science. § 27. Writing — its antiquity 
and general use. Materials : papyrus^ pens, ink. § 28. Three forms of letters : 
hieroglyiphic hieratiet and demotic. Essentially the same. § 29. Interpreta- 
tion of the hieroglyphics. § 30. PAo»»«<ic and t</«o^apAic characters. § 31. 
Egyptian Literature. Libraries. Ritual of the Dead and other Religious 
works. Hermetic Books. Historical Literature. Poems. Literary exercises. 
Bomanoes. § 32. Egyptian Science. Medicine. Geometry. Astronomy. 
Astrology, mimerals. 

Section I. — Sogiai^ Institution^ — Classes of the People. 

§ 1. A PEOPLE who lived for more than two thousand years, at 
the leasts under a despotic government, amidst all the dynastic 
changes of which we never meet with a popular revolution, must 
have had the strongest elements of permanence both in their character 
and their institutions. The Egyptians were serious, as became 
believers in an immortal life and the subjects of a supreme ruler, 
living under a fixed system of laws, and inhabiting a climate whose 
very changes show its regularity. But the sombre style of their 
monuments, and the composed features given to their statues by 
oonventional rules of art, perhaps even the very preservation of so 
many of their dead, have produced an exaggerated impression of their 
gravity. They have left scenes of feasting and amusement enough 
to prove that they could be cheerful, and something more. 

§ 2. The assertion constantly made, on the authority of the 
ancients, that Egyptian society was founded on the immutable law 
of caste, has been called in question by Hossellini and Ampere. In 
the strict sense of the term, the three conditions of cctste — devotion 
to the profession of the caste, abstinence from all other professions, 
and from intermarriage with other castes — were not fulfilled by the 
Egyptians. From the monuments we find the sacerdotal and military 
functions home hy the same persons, and conibiived V\\\x^vr\ ^'Si'CR^*. 


priests and soldiers intermarry with each others' daughters ; and 
members of the same family follow these two several professions. 
For example, a monument, in the museum at Naples, to one who 
was himself a general of infantry, records that his elder brother was 
a chief of public works and at the same time a priest.^ The 
nobility of an Egyptian, moreover, consisted in his high functions ; 
and high birth is never put forward in the laudatory epitaphs. 
Except the royal race, who claimed a divine descent — whether as a 
fact or a figure is not quite clear — all Egyptians were equally well 

But there was a tendency, as in some modem aristocracies, for 
the higher services of religion and the state to become hereditary 
in certain families of the nobles, to whom such functions were 
strictly confined. The line of division was clear and broad between 
these privileged classes and those who were occupied with the wants 
of daily life; and among the latter it was customary, if not 
established by law, that the same occupations were handed down 
from father to son. Such, indeed, is the natural jesult of a state of 
society in which, the land and the government being in the hands 
of the upper classes, they can prescribe to the lower the conditions 
under which they shall earn their daily bread. The general rule, at 
all events, in Egypt was that every man should be limited to his 
hereditary business.^ The monuments show clearly the distinct 
line between the privileged classes of the priests and warriors, who 
also held the higher administrative offices, and the rest of the 
population ; but, for that very reason, thiey give no indications of 
any fixed distribution of employments among . the lower classes. 
" Priests, warriors, judges, architects, chiefs of districts and provinces, 
are nearly the only ranks or classes that appear in the inscriptions;- 
We do not find the labourer, the agriculturist, the artist, or the 
physician, receiving those funereal honours which consist in the 
representation of the deceased as offering to the gods and praying 
for their protection in another world." * 

§ 3. Of such classes, th^i, rather than castes, Herodotus enume- 
rates seven, Diodorus^ve ; but neither account is exact. Both agree 
in making the priests and soldiers the two highest classes : the rest, 
forming the common people, are divided by IHodorus into shepherds 
(or herdsmen), agriculturists, and artisans ; by Herodotus into herds- 
men, swineherds, tradesmen, interpreters, and steersmen (or pilots^ 
The last two classes (as Herodotus expressly tells us of the in- 
tetpreters) would naturally be formed into distinct corporations 

* Ampere, in the * Revue des Deux Mondes,' 1B48, p. 410. * Diod. i. 92. 

' Diceearchus attributes to Sesostris the law, ixiiSeva KaroiXiirelv ttiv warpffov 
rexvriv. Schol. to Ap. Rhod. iv. p. 272-276. 

* Ampere, as quoted by Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,' vol. ii. c. 24. 


under the Saite kings, who encouraged foreigners and their com- 
merce;* and it must be constantly remembered that Herodotus 
describes Egypt (and chiefly Lower Egypt) as the Saite kings had 
left it to their Persian conquerors. The separation of the unclean 
sivineherds from the other pastoral people is a mere subdivision, or 
vice versa ; and the remarkable omission of the agriculturists may 
be explained by the fact that they were virtually serfs, adscripti 
glebcBf not recognised as following a calling of their own. All the 
land of Egypt being owned by the king, priests, and soldiers, the 
peasants tilled it for their masters, paying a full and rigidly-exacted 
rent'^of the produce. Their condition was much like that of the 
feUahs of this day.* No class seem to have been social outcasts like 
the Indian pariahs, except perhaps the swineherds, who (Herodotus 
teUs us) were not permitted to enter a temple. As to the supposed 
hatred and contempt for shepherds and herdsmen in general — " every 
shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians " ^ — ^it seems probable 
that some distinction should be drawn between the Semitic nomad 
races, the detested kinsmen of the Hyksos, and the native Egyptians 
who tended their lords' flocks and herds. But the antipathy to the 
former class would naturally include all the subject pastoral races of 
the Delta, the marshes of which were the greatest pasture-ground 
of Egypt. 

§ 4. The vast variety of the occupations followed by the several 
classes of artisans, who are seen on the monuments in the actual 
work of their several callings, has been partly described in our 
account of the life of Egypt under the Old Monarchy. A full 
account lies quite beyond our limits, and it has been already given 
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson ; * in whose descriptions and plates the 
reader will And the old Egyptians engaged in all the operations of 
agriculture, gardening, hunting, and boating; in the manufac- 
tures of glass, pottery, metal-work, and textile fabrics; in the 
handicrafts of shoemaking and carpentry, masonry and building^ 
polishing pillars and colossal statues; in the occupations of shop- 
keepers, public weighers and notaries, fowlers, fishermen, brick- 

^ The lai^e class of ordinary sailors, especially boatmen navigating the Nile, 
woald be included in Diodorus's class of artificers or, as we may say, craftsmen. 

* It would seem, however, from Genesis xlvii. 18-21, that there was once a 
class of independent proprietors, who, on their extinction as landowners, were 
added to the urban population. 

' Genesis xlvi. 34. Sir G. Wilkinson adds to the text the evidence of the 
monuments : — " as if to prove how much they despised every order of pastors, 
the artists, both of Upper and Lower Egypt, delighted on all occasions in carica- 
turing their appearance." (* Anc. Egyptians,* vol. ii. p. 169, popular edit.) Dr, 
Beke has attempted to show that the word translated "abomination" really 
means ** an object of reverence." (Sec * Atheneeum,' June, 1869.) 

« • The Ancient Egyptians,* 6 vols. 8vo. ; and * A Popular Account of the 
Ancient Egyptians,* 2 vols. Cr. 8vo. 


makers, and common labourers ; besides other scenes too many to 

The classification attempted by the Greek writers could not, from 
the nature of the case, be complete. " In a country so fertile as 
Egypt, in which manufactures, art, and internal commerce were 
carried on to such an extent, wealth must have accumulated amongst 
those engaged in civil life, and have given rise to a class of 
independent proprietors not included in any of the genea. On the 
other hand, we find that in large cities a populace forms itself, 
depending on casua^. expedients for subsistence, and, as having no 
definite occupation, equally excluded from the list. Such a class in 
later times existed in Egypt ; Sethos employed it in support of his 
usurpation;® Amasis endeavoured to check its groV?th by compelling 
every man to declare his occupation before the magistrate." ^^ 

§ 5. The highest class was that of the Priests ; and their office 
was strictly hereditary. The priests of Amun at Thebes, and of 
Phtha at Memphis, boasted to Hecataeus and Herodotus their 
descent from father to son for 345 and 340 generations respectively." 
They were the great hereditary nobility of Egypt ; and they shared 
with the king and the warrior-class the ownership of all the land. 
They claimed their possessions as the gift of Isis, who "had granted 
one-third of the soil of Egypt to the priests ; and in fact they held 
the greatest part of it, though we do not know the exact proportion. 
When Joseph accomplished his new policy of land tenure, the land 
of the priests was exempted from the paramount ownership of the 
king, and from the tax of one -fifth of the produce ; and the exemption 
remained permanent.^ The lands were let out to tenants, whose 
rents were carried into the treasury of the temples, of which the 
cultivators were considered as the servants. Hence were defrayed 
the expenses of the temples, their pompous ritual, and their 
numerous hierarchy of ministers ;• but the priests received, besides, 
daily rations of cooked food, and contributions of oxen, sheep, and 
wine : fish was forbidden to them. So abundant were these 
resources that they had no need to expend their private property.^^ 
They lived in wealth and luxury ; and the minute ritual observances 
of their lives, in a climate like that of Egypt, were agreeable rather than 
ascetic. They shaved the head and body every other day, washed in 

* Herod, ii. 141. '• Eenrick, ' Ancient Egypt,' vol. ii. p, 48. 

^^ Herod, ii. 142, 143. Taken literally, the statement is of course incredible, 
and its artificial character is further shown by the number of generations of the 
kings being the same as. that of the priests. But it is a good argument for the 
law of hereditary succession in both cases. A similar case of hereditary succes- 
sion in the civil service is cited by Lepsius from an inscription in the Sinaitic 
peninsula, in which a chief of the mining works declares that twenty-three of his 
ancestors had filled the samu office before him. 

12 Genesis xlvii. 22 ; Diod. i. 73. But it appears from the Rosctta stone that 
the Ptolemies received a tax from the priests. ** Herod, ii. 37. 


cold water twice every day and twice every night, and wore robes of 
linen and shoes of papyrus, wool and leather bcin<; forbidden them.'^ 
The endless variety of their services filled up the time for which 
there was no other occupation (for the sciences, of which the ]>riests 
held the key, could only be mastered by the few); and even 
amusement might be found in ritual observances, lliey were bound 
by no law of celibacy; but they were the only class to whom 
polygamy was forbidden.^ Women could not hold the priesthood, 
even to female deities ; *• but they might minister in the temples.*^ 
For each deity there was a high-priest, whose dignity was heretlitary, 
at the head of a numerous hierarchy of priests, scribes, and attendants 
of all sorts. The most famous sacerdotal colleges were those of the 
three religious capitals, Memphis, Ileliopolis, and Thebes. 

§ 6. The Military Class ranked second. None of them practised 
any trade; and the son succeeded to the profession of the father." 
Herodotus divides them into the two bodies called llermotyhians and 
(hlctsfrians.^ Each body consisted of the forces of different nomes ; 
the Hermotybians belonging to five nomes of Lower Egypt and one 
of Upper Egypt, namely, Chemmis ; the Calasirians to eleven nomes 
of Lower Egypt and one of Upper, namely, Thebes.*** As Kenrick 
observes, ** It was on the side of Asia that the country was most 
exposed to attack ; . . . . and the abundance and fertility of land in 
the Delta pointed out this as the part most suitable for the settle- 
ment of the soldiery." Hero, also, the foreign auxiliaries were 
stationed in their separate " camps." To the native soldiery, as we 
have seen, were entrusted the three great frontier garrisons of 
Elephantine towards Ethiopia, Pelusium towards Syria, and Marea 
towards Libya. 

The military class shared the soil of Egypt with the king and 
the priests ; and an expression of Diodorus seems to imply that they 
employed their leisure in cultivating their lands : ^ but they were 
interdicted from all handicrafts. Herodotus says that each soldier 
had 12 aruroB (about 3 roods) exempt from all imposts. There 
was no privileged corps, like our Guards ; but the king's body-guard 
was furnished every year by 1000 men from each of the two bodies ; 
and, during this service, each man received, as daily allowance, 

" Herod, ii. 37. " Diod. i. 80 : comp. Herod, il. 92. " Herod, il. 35. 

1^ Herod, ii. 55 ; confirmed by the monuments. But the Rosetta stone shows 
that the deified Ptolemies h^d their priesteiwes as well as their priests. 

1* Herod, ii. 165, 160. Priests also, as we have already seen, held military 
commands; and there is no proof that men of daring and promise wfre not 
received from other classes into the military. 

^* The latter name is found on the monuments as Klashr, followed by the figure 
of an archer or a soldier, the Egyptian infantry being chiefly archers. Wilkinson, 
note to Herod, ii. 164. 

*<> Here again it should be observed that the information of Herodotus relates 
to the state of Egypt under the Salte kings. *^ Diod. i. 28. 


5 mmoe ^ of baked head or parched com, 2 mince of beef, and about 
a quart of wine. Their peculiar arms, clothing, and ensigns, are seen 
on the monuments. 

From all this it is clear that the Egyptian army had no re- 
semblance to forces of paid soldiers enlisted from the lower classes, 
and commanded by privileged officers. The whole profession was 
privileged ; and, in the flourishing times of the monarchy, it 
was strictly national The foreign auxiliaries were kept in a 
thoroughly subordinate position ; till, in the course of generations, 
they became Egyptian citizens, like the Matoi, under the Middle 
Monarchy, and the Libyan Maxyans, under the New. The reliance 
of Psammetichus on his Greek and Carian mercenaries broke up this 
system, and caused, first, the secession of the bulk of the native 
soldiers, and afterwards those intestine struggles of the two forces 
which left Egypt an easy prey to Persia. 

Section II. — ^Political Institutions. 

§ 7. The government of Egypt was an absolute monarchy, only 
qualified by a definite system of laws, and by the strong influence of 
religion on the conscience of the king and of rules imposed by the 
priests upon his daily life. He held unlimited power over a people 
who were unquestioning believers in the divine right of kings, on 
the only sure ground of a real belief in their divine origin. " The 
Egyptians," says Diodorus Siculus, " adore their kings as equal to 
the gods ; *' and the monuments confirm him. In the earliest. age 
of the monarchy we find the king invested with the sacerdotal 
character ; and the priests are in a state of absolute dependence on 
him as their head. As the priests gained more independent power, 
the king added to his rank as sovereign pontiff the character of a 
visible god upon the earth. Hence the sublime epithet of Pharaoh, 
8<m of the Sun-Ood, Ba, which was prefixed to the name of every 
king, in an oval surmounted by a crowned hawk, the symbol of Ra.^ 
''The king is the image of Ba among men,'* says an inscription. 
Hence the constant identification of the king with Horus, and his 
titles of ** the great god," " the good god," " the sun, the lord of 
justice ; " for he ruled the lower world as the sun rules the order 
of the universe. In short, as a modern writer puts it, in the act of 
mounting the throne, he was transfigured before the eyes of his 
subjects, and enjoyed an apotheosis during his life besides his 
apotheosis after death. The divine and regal emblems are so inter- 
changed on the monuments, the god and king are so associated, that 
it is often difficult to say which is which : and the king is even seen 
in the act of worshipping his own image. After death, the long line 

^ The Attic mina was about 1^ lb. ayoirdupois, the Eginetan about 1§. 
23 This is the earliest use of crests, when crests had a real meaning. 


of kings are worshipped by their successors, as we have seen in the 
** Chamber of Ancestors " and the " Tables of Abydos." But during 
life, also, they had their own priests and altars. 

The distance was immeasurable between the king and the highest 
of his subjects. He might not be ministered toby slaves ; but priests 
and military nobles were his domestics ; and their epitaphs record 
exemption from abject reverence as the most distinguished favour. 
One rejoices in being allowed to touch the king*s knees in place of 
prostration before him ; another is even permitted to wear his sandals 
in the palace. This system endured even under the Ptolemies; who, 
we must remember, were not free Greeks, but semi-barbarians, prone 
to adopt Oriental forms and Oriental vices. Such a view of the 
loyal person, as one to whom reverence and obedience was a religious 
duty even in the highest subject, excluded that personal dignity and 
independence which are essential to a true nobility, and left no separate 
power or rank between the divine Pharaoh on the throne and the people 
at his footstool. Such was the full theory of Egyptian royalty, 
however modified in practice by the power of the priests and soldiers. 

§ 8. One class of restrictions arose from the very dignity of the 
xoyal nature. The divine Pharaoh must himself observe an etiquette 
of order worthy of a god ; and of this the priests made themselves 
the interpreters and ministers. Uis food and the quantity of his 
wine, his exercises and his pleasures, were all prescribed by a cere- 
monial contained in one of the books of Hermes (i,e, Thoth).** " It 
was his duty," says Diodorus, " when he rose in the early morning, 
first of all to read the letters sent from all parts, that he might 
transact all business with accurate knowledge of what was being done 
everywhere in his kingdom. Having bathed, and arrayed himself in 
splendid robes and the insignia of sovereignty, he sacrificed to the 
gods.** The victims being placed beside the altar, the high-priest, 
standing near the king, prayed with a loud voice (the people standing 
round) that the gods would give health and all other blessings to 
the king, he observing justice towards his subjects. It was the 
priest's ofiBce, also, to declare the king's several virtues, saying that 
he showed piety towards the gods and clemency towards men ; that 
he was temperate and magnanimous, truthful and liberal, and 
master of all his passions ; that he inflicted on offenders punishments 
lighter than their misdeeds deserved, and repaid benefits with more 
than a proportionate return. After many similar prayers, the priest 
pronounced an imprecation respecting things done in ignorance, 

^ Clem. Alex. * Strom.' vi. 4, p. 757, ed. Potter. Concerning these books, see 
below, § SO. 

^ The monuments constantly show the king offering sacrifices in person. For 
a representation of the royal robes and apron, see Wilkinson, * Popular Account,' 
&c., vol. IL p. 323. 


exempting the king from all accusation, and fixing the injury and the 
penalty on those who had been his ministers and who had wrongfully 
instructed him." So early in the history of the world do we find the 
doctrine of ministerial responsibility brought to support the maxim 
that " the king can do no wrong." 

It is, indeed, affirmed that his own responsibility was enforced by 
a form of posthumous judgment, to which he was subjected in the 
person of his mummy. Any one who had an accusation to bring 
against him was heard ; and, after the priests had pleaded his merits, 
the honours of sepulture were granted or refused by the applause or 
murmurs of the assembled people.^ But this singular statement 
receives no confirmation from the monuments ; and when we find 
the memorials of a deceased king defaced, it is generally by some 
rival who wished to brand him as a usurper. 

§ 9. The succession to the crown was hereditary ; and the princes 
of the royal family were distinguished by appropriate titles and 
insignia.^ These^prinoes generally followed the military profession, 
to which most of the Egyptian kings belonged : we find them 
mentioned as generals of the cavalry, archers, and other corps', and 
admirals of the fleet. Many held honourable offices in the royal 
household, such as fan-bearers on the right of ^ their father, royal 
scribes, superintendents of the granaries or of the land, and treasurers 
of the king. That " the king never dies " was a fundamental maxim 
of the monarchy; and, amidst all the dynastic revolutions, the 
priestly registers (as we see from Manetho) were made to show an 
unbroken succession from Menes to Psammenitus. 

The ceremonies of election, spoken of by some late writers, seem to 
have been only formal, the people, as at modern coronations, welcom- 
ing the new king by their acclamations. In the case of a real or formal 
election, owing to a dynastic revolution or the failure of the royal line, 
the new king must be either a priest or soldier ; and, if the latter, he 
was admitted to the sacerdotal order and Initiated in the hidden 
wisdom of the priests.^ In every case, the king was diligently 
instructed by the scribes in the moral precepts, and in the histories 
of eminent .and virtuous men, contained in the sacred books. He was 
bound to use his power according to the law, and nothing was left 

2« Diod. i. 72. 

*' Their regular distinction was a badge, hanging from the side of the head, 
"Which enclosed, or represented, the lock of hair emblematic of a " son," in imita- 
tion of the youthful god, Horus, who was the type of royal virtue and the model 
for all princes. (See this head-dress in Wilkinson, vol. ii. p. 312.) 

28 Plato, • Polit.' ii. p. 290 ; Plut* * Is. et Osir.' p. 354, B. It seems also that 
a royal prince (whether by birth or adoption) was similarly initiated ; and thus it 
was that " Moses was learned in all the wisdom of \he Egyptians." (Acts vii. 22.) 
What has been said of the occupations of the royal princes will illustrate the 
further statement that he " was mighty in words and deeds," and the military 
exploits ascribed to him by Josephus, though with details evidently fabulous. 


to caprice or passion ;* and, amidst some strikiii*;; cas(^ of tymnny,*^ 
the afaaenoe of popular revolutions is a strong argument that the rulers 
generally respected the laws and revered their religious sanctions. 

" The union of priestly sanctity, military power, and monarchical 
anthority, in one person, gave the government a degree of stability 
not belonging to forms of polity in which these |)o\vcrs were dis- 
sociated or hostile. At the same time the influence of the sacerdotal 
order, who were almost the sole possessors of knowledge, stamped it 
with a character of mildness and humanity ; as in the Middle Ages 
the influence of the Church tempered the rigours of feudalism. It 
substituted religious awe for constitutional checks and sanctions in 
the mind of the monarch, and by this sentiment more effectually 
controlled him as long as religion and its ministers were re- 
spected." » 

§ 10. Legislative power seems to have been vested in the sovereign 
alone; and among the kings famous as lawgivers are Menes, 
Sasychis, Bocchoris, and Amasis. But it is impossible to doubt 
that they consulted the learning of the priests and the wishes of the 
higher classes generally in making new laws. The Greeks regarded 
the laws of Egypt as the expression of the highest wisdom and the 
fountain of inspiration to their own great legislators and philosophers, 
Lycurgus, Solon, Pythagoras, and Plato ; and the likeness between 
the Egyptian and Jewish codes is a decisive testimony alike to the 
merit of the former and to the purpose for which Moses was led 
to acquire his Egyptian learning. 

Unfortunately, both the monuments and the papyri, so rich in 
historical facts and religious lore, are almost silent about the laws ; 
but Diodorus gives the outline of the criminal code,^ First of all, 
perjury was punished by death, as combining the two greatest 
crimes that can be committed against God and against man. The 
false accuser was subject to the penalty of the offence charged. 
The wilful murder, whether of a free man or of a slave, was alike 
punished by death; and the same penalty was inflicted on the 
bystander who refused to assist a man attacked by an assassin. If, 
being really unable to give effectual help, he failed to denounce the 
culprit before the tribunals, he received a certain number of stripes, 
and was kept without food for three days. A parent who killed his 
child was compelled to sit three days and three nights embracing 
its body, under the guard of a public officer. The exposure of 
infants was forbidden, nor was a mother allowed to be executed with 
an unborn child; for it was held supremely unjust to make an 
innocent being share the penalty of the guilty, and to take two lives 

«> Diod. i. 94. ^ Notably the Pharaoli of the Exodus. 

a» Kenrick, ' Ancient Egypt,' vol. u. p. 85. « Dlod. i. 77, 78. 


in expiation of the crime of one. A thousand stripes were inflicted 
on an adulterer, and mutilation of the nose on the adulteress, to spoil 
her beauty. Makers of false weights and measures, counterfeiters 
of money and seals, forgers of documents, and those who altered 
public acts, had both hands cut off»® Desertion w^ punished, not 
by death, but by infamy, in order that the soldier might fear shame 
more than death, and also to incite him to valiant efforts to regain 
his rank ; while, if put to death, he would have been useless to the 
state. The spy who betrayed secret plans to an enemy had his 
tongue cut out. 

There were other forms of punishment. We have seen that He- 
rodotus mentions the substitution, by Sabaco, for the punishment of 
death, of forced labour in embanking the cities of the Delta. It is 
probable that, in the times of the Pharaohs, as well as those of the 
Ptolemies, the working of the gold mines of Nubia, and of the mines 
in the Arabian Desert, was one of the punishments of criminals. The 
labour was cruelly severe, and was e^SLoted by the scourge ; in the 
low and winding passages in which they wrought, the miners were 
compelled to assume painful and unnatural postures in order to carry 
on their work.®* Their complaints could excite no sympathy, for 
guards were placed over them who did not understand their lan- 
guage. Children, women, and old men were employed in different 
operations, and neither infirmity nor disease procured a respite while 
there remained any strength which blows coald compel them to 
exert.*^ The law of theft was very curious. The "habitual 
criminals " of this class (if criminals they could be called under 
such a law) were organized under a chief, who kept a register of 
their names, and acted as their ** receiver-general." On application 
to him, a person who had been robbed could recover his property by 
paying one-fourth of its value ; and probably nowhere, as Kenrick 
observes, has stolen property been so cheaply recovered .8* Unless 
the law referred to some peculiar cases, it would have amounted — 
as some later writers represent it — to a general permission of theft 
in Egypt.*' 

Of the ciuil law — ^besides the general statement that Bocchoris 
legislated for commerce, the only details given by the ancients relate 
to debtors and creditors. Where no written acknowledgment could be 
produced, a claim might be rebutted by the oath of the alleged 
debtor; and in no case was interest allowed to exceed twice the 
principal. A debtor was answerable to the extent of his property, 

" A grave was found at Sakkara containing bodies, the hands and feet of 
which had been mutilated at the joints. 

** " Distorting their bodies in many ways to suit the peculiarities of the rocks : " 
Diod. iii. 14. aw Diod. I. c. : Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,* U. p. 65. 

*» Diod. i. 80. »7 Aulus GeUius, xi. 18. 


but not in his person, for the latter was held to be at the disposal of 
ihe state. We have already mentioned the pledging of the mummy 
of a debtor's father, and of his family tomb. The numerous existing 
papyri, containing contracts of sale and lease of lands and houses — 
found among other family papers in the tombs — show the strict 
forms and guarantees by which property was secured. 

§ 11. Egypt had the blessing of a judicial administration almost 
independent of the crown. The kings reserved for the last resort 
(except probably in political cases) those judicial functions which, 
as in all the ancient monarchies, were the prerogative of royalty. 
There was a supreme court of Thirty (or rather thirty-one) persons, 
ten from each of the cities of Memphis, Heliopolis, and Thebes ; they 
chose their president, who was replaced by another representative 
from the same city. As these were the three great seats of priestly 
colleges, it is inferred, and it is probable on other grounds, that the 
judges were of the sacerdotal order, which alone possessed the neces^ 
sary knowledge of the law. 

All cases were conducted in writing, that the decision might be 
tminfluenced either by eloquence or supplication. " A collection of 
the laws, in eight volumes, lay before the judges : the plaintiff, or 
accuser, declared in writing how he had been injured, cited the 
portion of the law on which he relied, and laid the amount of his 
damages, or claimed the penalty which, in his view, the law 
awarded. The defendant, or culprit, replied in writing, point by 
point, denying the fact alleged, or showing that his act had not been 
unlawful, or that the penalty claimed was excessive. The plaintiff 
having rejoined, and the defendant replied again, the judges deli- 
berated among themselves. A chain of gold and precious stones was 
worn by the president, to which was attached an image of Thmei 
(or Ma)f the goddess of truth; and he pronounced sentence by 
touching with this image the plaintiff's or defendant's pleadings. 
We are not told how the facts were established, and indeed the 
whole account suggests the idea of a Court of Appeal, rather than of 
primary jurisdiction."® Ordinary suits were probably judged by 
the Nomarchs and Toparchs on the spot. We possess papyri con- 
taining the official records of two criminal trials. The one, under 
Eameses II., has been already mentioned.® The other, under 
Rameses IV., relates to the trial of a band of thieves, who had 
carried on a systematic pillage of the Theban tombs. We have no 
similar record of any civil process. 

§ 12. The Administration was conducted by an army of officials, 
unsurpassed in number and organization by the most bureaucratic 
of modem governments. It was entrusted to the great corporation 

3« Kenrick, * Hist of Egypt,' vol. ii. pp. 52, 63. » Chap. vi. § 9. 


of Scribes — a branch of the sacerdotal order — and was carried on by 
means of written orders and reports passing between the superior 
and inferior officers. "Papyrus," in ancient Egypt, might have 
furnished the same by-word as our "red-tape." Many of these 
reports, and fragments of public accounts, are extant. We have 
already given an example, relating to the captive Hebrews. The 
elaborate phrases of respect, and the general style of these state- 
papers, bear a resemblance to those of the Chinese. 

The chief departments were those of public works, war, and 
fincmce^ As coined money appears to have been unknown, all 
taxes and dues were collected in kind; and for this purpose the 
land was divided into three categories, the arable la/nds (puou), the 
marshes (pehxm), and the canals (mami), which paid their respec- 
tive imposts in corn, cattle, and fi^. As one-third of the whole 
land of Egypt belonged to the king, and the tenants of the royal 
demesne paid him one-fifth of the produce ; and as the land of the 
priests, and a part at least of that of the warriors, was exempt from 
taxation ; it would appear that the taxes spoken of by ancient 
writers were for the most part the same thing as the rent (or 
double-tithe) of the crown lands. Such a revenue might well sup- 
port the splendid state in which the Pharaohs held their court, and 
their vast outlay on building and sculptures, especially with the aid 
of forced labour. The enormous expenses of their foreign wars were 
defrayed, according to ancient custom, by plunder and exaction 
during the campaign, and by the tributes of conquered countries. 

§ 13. The whole territory of Egypt was divided, for administra- 
tive purposes, into nomes / of which some of the most important, 
at least, seem to have been originally independent states. To the 
latest times they were the seats of what we may call a cantonal 
worship, each nome having its own local deity, whose temple 
marked the chief city of the nome. The number of nomes under the 
Pharaohs, Ptolemies, and early Caesars was 36 : 10 in Upper Egypt, 
16 in Middle Egypt,** and 10 in Lower Egypt : but these numbers 
were greatly increased by the later Roman emperors, till in the 
time of Arcadius there were 58.*^ Each nome had a governor, whom 
the Greeks call nomarch^ and under him were local magistrates 
called toparchs,^ Thel« was (according to Strabo) a central organi- 
zation of these nomes for common purposes, by delegations com- 
posed of persons of station and character from each nome, accom- 

^ The ditision between Upper and Middle Egypt was drawn differently at 

different periods ; and at one time (Strabo says originally) the latter only con- 

tained 1 nomes, whence its Greek name of H^tanomis. Afterwards the FyUm 

was added as an eighth, under the name of Nomoa Arsino'ites. 

^' In this division the Oasis of Ammon was reckoned as one of the 35 nomes of 

the Delta. 42 The correspoiidixig Eg^i^tiaa Mv&<&% «.t« MLS^exvor^rcu 


panied by the priests of its chief temple. The delegates were 
lodged in the Labyrinth, the 27 halls of which corresponded to the 
number of the nomes ; they made offerings to the gods, and settled 
questions of doubtful jurisdiction.*^ 

The whole of this system was in the hands of the two privileged 
orders. " The great body of the Egyptian people appear to have 
had no public duties whatever, ceither political, judicial, nor mili- 
tary ; the idea of a citizen was unknown among them. This ex- 
clusion of all but priests and soldiers from political functions would 
ensure revolution in any modern government ; but the privileged 
ordCTS were so firmly established by the threefold monopoly of 
knowledge, sacred and secular, arms, and landed property, that we 
do not read even of an attempt to disturb them, on the part of 
the excluded millions, till the last century of the history of the 
Pharaohs." <* 

Section III. — Beltgious Institutions. 

§ 14. The great bond of this thoroughly organized system was 
Beligion, Herodotus says that the Egyptians are religious to 
excess, far beyond any other race of men ; ^ and even when the 
groits excesses of a degenerate superstition provoked the ridicule 
of the Greeks and Romans, the Greek philosopher, who makes 
Momus express his surprise that so many persons were allowed 
to share divine honours, his indignation at the Egyptian crew of 
apes, ibises, bulls and other ridiculous creatures who intruded them- 
selves into heaven, and his wonder how Jove could allow himself 
to be caricatured with the horns of a ram — the same philosopher 
makes Jove reply, that these were mysteries, not to be derided by 
the uninitiated.** 

Egypt had in fact two religions : one, which Herodotus saw capti- 
vating the eyes of the people with pompous ceremonies, and governing 
their lives by minute observances ; the other, of which the priests 
barely allowed him to catch a glimpse, and even that glimpse he 
was too reverent to repeat.*^ It may be that some portions of the 
esoteric doctrine were revealed to Pythagoras and Plato, and after- 
wards in those mysteries of Isis, so popular under the Roman em- 
pire, the meaning of which has been discussed by Plutarch ; ^ but 
all that we could learn with certainty from these sources has been 
either lost in antiquity, or inextricably involved with the specula- 
tions of the Greeks themselves. At length, however, modem science 
has, in the language of the ancients, " lifted the veil of Isis ; " and 
in the Egyptian papyri we read the secrets of Egyptian theology. 

<» Strabo, xvii. p. 811. " Kenrick, * Ancient Egypt,* vol. ii. p. 49. 

** Herod, ii. 37. *« Lncian, * Deor. Ctonc' 10. 

*7 See Herod, ii. 62, 132, 17 1. « « Dc Iside et Osiride.' 



The first revelation is somewhat startling. Even Herodotus had 
learnt that, amidst their system of polytheism, the Egyptians of 
Thebes recognised one supreme God, who had no beginning, and 
would have no end ; and Jamblichus quotes from the old Hermetic 
books the statement — " Before all the things that actually exist, and 
before all beginnings, there is one God, prior even to the first god 
and king, remaining unmoved in the singleness of his own Unity." *• 
And now if, like the prophet on his mission to Egypt, we ask hy 
what name we shall announce this God, the sacred books of Egypt 
give the very same answer — an answer which the initiated took 
with them to the grave, inscribed on a scroll as their confession of 
feith :— " NUK pu Nuk "— " I am that I am.'' «> Other papyri tell 
us "That He is the sole generator in heaven and on earth, and 
that He is not engendered — That He is verily the sole living God 
who has engendered Himself — He who is from the beginning — He 
who created all, but is Himself uncreated." '^^ 

That the original worship of Egypt was in accordance with this 
theology is indicated by at least one ancient monument, the temple 
of King Shafre, in its freedom not only from idols but even from 
symbolic decorations, and perhaps by the oldest pyramids.*^ 

§ 15. Whence then the outrageous polytheism — ^the gross super- 
stition — which 

*' With monstrons shapes and sorceries abased 
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek 
Their wandering gods distinguished in brutish foims 

Rather than haman — 

Likening their Maker to the grazed ox, 
Jehovah, who in one night, when he passed 
From Egypt marching, equalled with ope stroke 
Both her firstborn and all her bleating gods 1 " 

The answer is not difficult ; and it shews one origin of polytheism 
and idolatry. The unity of God was lost in the plurality of His 
manifestations. Each of these, embodied in a personal form, became 
a god ; while the allegorical representations of the divine qualities 
gave birth to the monstrous combipations of animal and human 
forms, and to the worship of animals themselves. All these were 
— so to speak — religious masks, grotesque allegorical embodiments 
of the originally pure dogma conamunicated to the initiated at the 
mysteries. When once invested with a distinct personality, and 

« Cory's * Anc. Frag.' p. 283. 

*® Brugsch, * A us dem Orient.* It is evident what a new light this discovery 
throws' on the sublime passage in Exodus iii. 14 ; where Moses, whom we may 
suppose to have been initiated into this formula, is sent both to his people and to 
Pharaoh, to proclaim the true God by this very title, and to declare that the God 
of the highest Egyptian theology was also the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of 
Jacob. The case is parallel to that of Paul at Athens. 

^* Lenormant, * Hist. Ancienne,' vol. i. p. 361. <>2 See chap. iii. § 8. 


with attributes which were regarded as their own, the gods became 
secondary agents, taking their part in the organization of the world 
and the preservation of its creatures ; and this polytheism was ex- 
tended to embrace all nature. 

The principle of anthropomorphism was earned out, as in all 
systems of polytheism, to the length of ascribing to the deities the 
distinction of sex, and the ordinary family relations. Hence, at all 
the chief religious centres, we find, not one god alone, but a triad, 
consisting of father, mother, and son. From the involved character 
of this system, from the numerous centres of worship, and from 
the many forms of symbolism used to embody the same idea, we 
find in these triads an extraordinary mixture and repetition, not only 
of attributes, but even of personalities. 

§ 16. Throughout the whole system there is a constant reference 
to the dogma which, next to the divine unity, is the one most cha- 
racteristic of the Egyptian religion, the immortality of the souZ and 
a future state of existence ccfter death. Of this truth a thousand 
symbols and promises were recognised in the natural world, and 
embodied in the conceptions of the gods. The prevailing emblem 
was furnished by the Sun's daily course, as it passed alternately 
through the abodes of darkness — or death, and of light — or life ; for, 
with the Egyptians, as with the Hebrews, the evening and morning 
were the day. But the Sun was the source as well as the sign of 
life, the vivifier of the world, the universal father ; and, as it shines 
in the firmament above, superior to all the other lights of heaven, it 
is the universal lord. These conceptions were embodied in different 
names — Ra, the Sun in his meridian splendour ; Atoum, in his noc- 
turnal course ; Kheper, as the giver and sustainer of life ; — and we 
may perhaps go se far as to say that, in all the varied combinations 
of the Egyptian Pantheon, the supreme god has, at least, some con- 
nection with the Sun. Correlative to this living, active, vivifying 
principle was inert matter, the universal mother {Mavi) — one form 
under many names, as ^schylus says of the earth — ^nay, in one 
aspect, as Neith, the mother of the Sun himself, as well as of all the 
gods ; and itself a creation of the god Noum (or Knuphis), the divine 
breath which animates matter, and the first creator, or demiurgus, 
whose symbol is the ram. Thus, in the Egyptian doctrine, inert 
matter — the receptacle of all life — was not coetemal with God, but 
was created by his breath : and here we have again a close resemblance 
to the cosmogony of Moses. 

Another set of symbols was suggested by the general idea of the 
solar course. The lower hemisphere, or more vaguely the West- 
em region, into which the Sun sinks to rest, wais personified in Athor 
(or Atur),^ the mother of Ea, whose symbol is the cow. As spring- 

^ The Greeks identified this goddess viOi AphrodUe. ^ 

I 2 


ing from her, when he resumes his daily course, the Sim becomes 
the youthful Horns ; and the same cow, appearing to welcome him 
in the upper world, is again deified under the name of Noub. 

In accordance with the usual mode of travelling in Egypt, the 
mystic journey of the Sun is made in a boat or hark ; and this gives 
rise to a new set of personifications. This voyager through the 
shades, with the twelve hours of the night for his companion deities, 
was distinguished from the other personifications of the Sun by the 
famous name of Osibis. This god, and his wife Jsis (who unites 
the characters of Maut and Neith and Athor), were the children of 
the god Seby another personification of the earth, and of the goddess 
Nout, the firmament of heaven. Their son, the ever youthful Horus, 
the chief of the twelve companions of his father, and the lord of the 
hour of dawn, personified the rising Sun, piercing with his dart the 
serpent Apap, or Apophis, who represents the vapours of the dawn. 
This contest was generalized into the whole conflict between good 
and evil, in which the serpent, or evil principle, is embodied in a 
special deity, Set or Soutekh, the Egyptian name for the Baal of the 
Syrians and Shepherds, whom the Greeks confounded with Typhon.*^ 
The fable, which became the most popular article of faith among all 
the Egyptians, and the most mysterious of their tenets in the eyes 
e^JliJieir Greek visitors,** related how Osiris manifested hin^self among 
men, and ruled Egypt with beneficent sway ; ^ how he was killed in 
combat with the serpent Typhon, and raised to life again through 
the prayers and invocations of Isis ; and how his son Horus took 
vengeance upon Typhon. The substance of the legend appears in 
all the eastern systems of nature-worship, and especially in the 
myths of Cybele and Atys, and of Venus and Adonis. 

§ 17. Oairis, Ms, and Eorus formed the most popular, though the 
last in order, of the Egyptian triads. Their worship was common 
to all Egypt ; but the other chief triads had local centres. 

(i.) The first in rank was that of Thebes, headed by Amun, the 
supreme god of Egypt, at least from the time when Thebes was 
made the capital by the twelfth dynasty. Amun, whose name 
means hidden, was the highest personal embodiment of the invisible 
an^; inconceivable god, the creator and governor, not only of the 
wMid, but of all the other gods, who personify his attributes : thus 
tne Bitual of the Dead says, " Amun creates his members, and they 
become his associate gods." Hence the Greeks identified him with 
their Jove, " the father of gods and men." He was worshipped at 
Thebes as Amun-Ba (Ammon the Sun), in conjunction with Maut 


"As Baal was also a snn-god, the fable may have signified, in part, the triumph 
of the gods of Egypt over those of her enemies. 

*» Herodotus makes it a rule generally to suppress the name of Osiris. 

^^ This was one reason of his identification with Dionysus. (See Herod, ii. 42.) 


(** the Mother," par excellence), and Chons, who is at once the son of 
Amun, and another form of him. Indeed in all these triads, the son 
is another impersonation of the attributes of the father. 

(ii.) The Triad of Memphis consisted of Phtha, Fasht, and Month. 
In the time of Lower Egypt's supremacy, Phtha might dispute with 
Amun the first place among the Egyptian gods. He seems, in fact, 
to represent a somewhat different system of physico-theology, based 
on the secret working of the powers of nature. Phtha is the per- 
sonification, not of the sun, but of the all-working power of fire ; *^ 
the second demiurgtis, an emanation from the first creative principle, 
Nouph or Knuphis. His spouse was Pasht, the lion-headed goddess 
of Bubastis, the universal mother (like Maui), and sj^eclally the 
avenger of crimes. From them sprang the Sun-god, whose most 
brilliant and terrible form, as he darts abroad his piercing and some- 
times pestilential rays, like sharp arrows, is embodied in Month, 
with the symbol of the hawk. 

(iii.) Month himself, with his consort Bitho, and their son Harphri 
{B.oTu% the Sun), formed the Triad of Hermonthis. 

(iv.) The triad of Osiris, J sis, and Horus was, as we have just 
said, revered throughout all Egypt. 

Herodotus was perhaps guided by the system of triads in his 
division of the Egyptian gods into three orders : — " the eighty who 
existed before the rest, and of whom Pan (i.e. Khem) was one ; " the 
twelve " of the second order, one of whom was Hercules (under whose 
name he seems to confound Khons and Moui, the god of Sebennytus); 
and the gods of the third order, whom " the twelve " produced, among 
whom was Dionysus (i.e. Osiris). Ancient and modem writers have 
framed very different theories to illustrate or confirm or refute this 
statement ; and we must abstain here from any attempt to complete 
the Egyptian Pantheon.* 

§ 18. The spirit of symbolism ran through the whole religion of 
Egypt ; and never was there a stronger case of the abuses to which 
that fascinating principle may sink, than in the animal worship of 
the Egyptians. Many fanciful theories have been devised to account 
for this strange religious aberration. Herodotus, after stating that 
Egypt does not abound in wild animals, but that its animals 

'7 Hence the Greeks identified him with Hephsestas. 

M For further information see Kenrick's * Ancient Egypt,* vol. i. chap, zxi., 
and Wilkinson's Appendix to Book II. of < Herodotus,' chap. iii. (in Rawlinson's 
♦Herodotus'). Both agree in making up the list of the ** eight" by 4 deities of 
each sex ; but with slight differences : 


Amun and Maut. 
Pthah and Pasht. 
Kneph and Neith. 
Khem and Athor. 


Amun and Maut. 
Pthah and Neith. 
Noum (Kneph) and Sat^. 
Khem and Pasht. 


(whether domesticated or not) are all regarded as sacred, adds, — 
** If I were to explain why they are consecrated to the several gods, 
I should he led to speak of religious matters, which I particularly 
shrink from mentioning."*^ Diodorus quotes three reasons which 
were commonly given hy the Egyptians. ** The first is a fable which 
tells how the original gods, being few in number, and no match for 
the iniquities and violence of men, took the shape of animals, in 
order to escape from them ; and afterwards, when they became mas- 
ters of the whole world, they consecrated and appropriated these 
animals to themselves, as an act of gratitude.^ The second story 
ascribed the custom to victories obtained by the army under standards 
bearing the heads of animals ; — an obvious inversion of the natural 
CHrder ; nor are such standards seen on the monuments. 

The third reason is plausible enough to have been generally 
accepted by the ancient writers,®* as well as by modem utilitarians 
— that the animals were consecrated on account of the benefits 
which mankind derived from them ; ^ the bull and cow, from their 
services in agriculture and in supplying man with nourishment ; the 
sheep, from its rapid multiplication and the utility of its fleece, its 
milk, and its cheese ; the dog, for its use in hunting ; the cat, because 
it destroys a^ps and other venomous reptiles ; the ichneumon, because 
it sucks the eggs of the crocodile, and even destroys the animal 
itself by creeping into its mouth and gnawing its intestines; the 
ibis and hawk, because they destroy snakes and vermin. 

This theory may contain a germ of truth : the general practice 
being once established, some animals may have been consecrated 
through gratitude, as the ichneumon and the ibis ; but even in these 
cases a better reason might perhaps be found. Besides, the theory 
is inadequate: as Kenrick well asks — "If the ichneumon or the 
hawk were worshipped because they destroyed crocodiles and ser- 
pents, why the serpent and the croctniile ? Or if the ibis was wor- 
shipped because it devours snakes and vermin, why was it specially 
consecrated to Thoth, the god of letters ? " Nor were the wants of 
the Egyptiajis so opposite in various nomes, as to account for their 
extirpating as noxious, in one, the very animals that were conse- 
crated as useful in the next ! 

§ 19. Without naming many other reasons which are manifest 
inventions, or discussing mere philosophic theories — such as those 
which connect the practice with a Pantheistic creed, or with the 
doctrine of metempsychosis — there remains the one explanation 

*» Herod, ii. 65. w Diod. i. 85, 86. 

^1 Herodotus relates a somewhat similar fable to account both for the ram's 
head of Ammon, and for his name of " the hidden one." Herod, ii. 42. 

82 Comp. Cic. 'N.D.' i. 29, 36, 'Tusc. QusBst.' v. 27 ; Porphyr. ' De Sacrificiis.* 

<>3 Some writers add that it was a wise measure of police to preserve the animals 
which, as Herodotus says, were few. 


from the nniversal teodeDCj of mankiud to fiiid in the peculiar 
qualities of animals figures of the chaiacters of rational beings, — a 
tendency which snnrives in poetry and heraldry, and which may be 
traced in the symbolisms of other religions, thoogh no people haTe 
carried it to the same length as the Egyptians. The application of 
this principle is admirably stated by llr. Eenrick : — '* What those 
analogies woe, which the Egyptians found or landed, between the 
attributes of the gods and the specific qualities of the animals 0007 
aecrated to them, we can in general only guess. The lordly MZ, as 
a type at once of power and of production, seems a natural symbol 
oi the mighty god Osiris, who — whether he represented or^inally 
the Earth, the Sun, or the Nile — was certainly revoed as the great 
aomce of life. The god of Mendes, for a similar reason, ¥ras fitly 
represented by a ffoat. The bright and {aerdng eye of the hawk 
made it an apprc^riate emblem of Horns, who was also the Sim ; 
tiie crocodile mig^t naturally be adopted as a symbol of the Nile 
which it inhabits,^ or, from its voracious habits and hostility to 
man, mi^t, on the other hand, symbolise Tyj^on, the principle of 
eriL We may fsuicy that the Cynocqpkalus wss chosen to r^xesent 
Thoth, the god of letters and science, from the near approach 
which this animal makes to human reason." But we caniK>t expect 
to explain erery example; and it is probably from our limited 
acquaintance with the Egyptian mythology that we have to leave 
some questi<»is unanswoed, as " Why was the ibis appropriated to 
Osiris ? or the cat to Pssht ? or the ram to Knej^ ? or the vullmrs 
to Isis? or what made the seamlmus <me of the most sacied of all 
the animal types of Egypt ? * 

We may trace three stages of this sirmbolism. First, the placing 
the head of the animal on the human form of the god, the almost 
universal type of the Egyptian idols.** Kext, the oonsecratifMi oi 
living animals as types of the deities : a symbolism which degoie- 
rated into actual wor^p. Lastly, the animal was believed to be 
tiie positive incamati<Hi of the god in three cases only: the boll 
.^pis, who was wor^pped at Mem^^s as the incarnation of PkAa; 
the boll MneviSy at Heliopolis, the incaroatioii of Oskris ; and the 
goai at Mendes, the incarnation of Khem, The most revered was 
Apis (in Egyptian, Hapi), who was revealed by certain marks : his 
cokmr was black, with a white triangular s^M>t on ibe forehead, a 
half-moon upon the back, and a swelling in the shape of a scara- 
bsens <hi the Usigue. He was kept in great pomp, in a sploMlid 

«• We hmrt tins rery sjrmbolism in tke Bible (EsdE. xxix. S ; ladak xxriL 1) 
as vdl as in the liierogiyphies, from whieh indeed many other eoofirmatory 
examines might be dravn. 

*> The e un ic i ae sjmbolism lepieamU a kin^ bj a human hfead on the body of 
the animal "whom q[«lities are aatnbed to 


building, and it was esteemed the highest honour to be one of his 
ministering priests. When he died, all Egypt went into mourning : 
and when a new Apis was manifested, the land gave itself up to 
rejoicing. His term of life was limited: if he did not then die 
naturally, the priests killed him, and then mourned for him. His 
body was embalmed, and buried in the sepulchre which we have 
already mentioned as discovered by M. Mariette with its invaluable 
records.** The Greeks called the temple of Apis the Serapeum, a 
curious misnomer, which originated as follows. The soul of the 
deceased Apis was supposed to become assimilated, in the lower 
world, to another manifestation of Osiris, and was worshipped under 
the name of Osir-Bapi, which the Greeks made Serapi's : and, in the 
time of the Ptolemies, the worship of Serapis became the religious 
bond between the old Egyptians and the Greek colonists. 

§ 20. The other sacred animals had likewise their temples, where 
they were splendidly maintained. Besides the land assigned to 
them, they received the produce of vows, especially those made by 
parents for the recovery of their children, and at death they were 
embalmed. Some, that were held in peculiar honour, had their 
special burial-places, as the cat at Bubastis, the hawk at Buto, the 
ibis at Hermopolis. The reverence paid to some was purely local : 
thus the hippopotamus was worshipped only at Papremis; the 
sheep in the Theban and Saitic nomes ; the wolf at Lycopolis ; 
the lion at Leontopolis ; and others in other places : the crocodile 
was held sacred in the Thebaid, but was hunted down elsewhere. 
The killing of a sacred animal was a sacrilege punished with death, 
if wilful ; if involuntary, by such a fine as the priests might im- 
pose : but the slayer of an ibis or hawk was in all cases put to 
death. It is said that when Cambyses invaded Egypt, he placed 
sacred animals in his front line, and the Egyptians suffered defeat 
rather than harm them. The same conqueror shewed a Persian's 
indignation for idolatry by slaying an Apis, over whose discovery 
the Egyptians were rejoicing ; and his madness was held to be the 
penalty of the outrage. Even under one of the last Ptolemies, when 
the fate of Egypt hung on the friendship or anger of Rome, the 
intercession of the king himself failed to save a Roman soldier, who 
had killed a cat, from the hands of the enraged people.*^ 

The superstition lasted till it gradually yielded to Christianity, 
and Clemens Alexandrinus describes it in a striking passage : — 
"Among the Egyptians, the temples are surrounded with groves 
and consecrated pastures; they are furnished with propylaea, and 
their courts are encircled with an infinite number of columns ; their 
walls glitter with foreign marbles and paintings of the highest art ; 

^ See chap. ii. § 6. s' Diodorus relates this as an eyewitness. 


the naos is resplendent with gold and silver and electnim and 
vari^ated stones from India and Ethiopia ; the adytum is veiled by 
a curtain wrought with gold. But if you pass beyond, into the 
remotest part of the enclosure, hastening to behold something yet 
more excellent, and seek for the image which dwells in the temple, 
a pastophorus, or some one else of those who minister in sacred 
things, with a pompous air, singing a psean in the Egyptian tongue, 
draws aside a small portion of the curtain, as if about to show us the 
god, and makes us burst into a laugh. For no god is found within, 
but a cat, or a crocodile, or a serpent sprung from the soil, or some 
80ch brute animal ; the Keyptian deity appears a beast, rolling him- 
self on a purple coverlet ! " *• 

§ 21. It is unnecessary to describe the sacrifices and ceremonial 
worship of the Egyptians, which differed in no important respect 
from those of other nations ; but it should be mentioned that they 
had the rite of circumcision. ITieir practice of eTribalmment, the 
various forms of which are fully described by Herodotus, arose from • 
tiieir belief in a future life and in the resurrection of the body. So 
long as the body was preserved from corruption, it was believed to 
retain a germ of life, and mystic formulae were used for the pre- 
servation of the vital spark. The future life and resurrection are 
often depicted on the coffins by symbols connected with the course 
of the sun- The soul is represented by a hawk (the symbol of Ra) 
with a human head, holding in its claws the two rings of eternity, 
and surmounted by the rising sun, with Isis and Nephthys for its 
attendants. Such a hawk is seen in a vignette of the Ritual cf the 
Dead, carrying the ring-handled cross (crux ansata) — the emblem of 
life — to a munmiy lying on its bier. When its subterranean pil- 
grimage is fulfilled, the soul arrives at the bark of the son, and ia 
received by Ra under the emblem of a scarabeeus. 

But this was not the portion of all souls. The doctrine of rewards 
and punishments was inseparably linked with that of a future life. 
All the deceased went down to Ker-neter (the Egyptian Hades) ; 
but resurrection was the portion of those only who had committed 
no mortal sin, either in action or in thought. The j'udf/ment cfthe 
dead is often represented on coffins and in the BUual, under the 
figure of weighing the souls (psychostasy).^ This awful ceremony 
is conducted by Osiris and hia forty-four assessors in the ** hall of 
two-fold justice :" the balances are held by Horus and Anubis : a 
figure, or sometimes the heart, of the deceased is placed in one 
scale, to be weighed against an image of Thoth, the god of justice, 
in the other, and the same deity registers the result. The reprobate 
is condenmed to annihilation : he is beheaded by Horus or by 8mou 

« Clem. Alex. • P«dag.' iii- 2, p. 253, PoUer. 

** Compare Dan. T. 27 ; **ThoaiirtweigliediDtliebaIaiiees andfoaodwaatijig.'' 



(another form of Set) on the nemma, or infernal scaffold, and de- 
voured by a monster with the head of a hippopotamus. But before 
his annihilation he is subjected to a long course of torments, and 
returns to act as an evil genius upon earth, where his abode is in 
the bodies of unclean animals. 

The just, on the contrary, purified by a fire guarded by four ape- 
headed genii, shares the bliss of Osiris, the " good being " (Ounnqfre), 
and feasts with him on delicious food. But he has first* to expiate 
his venial sins by a long series of trials, which occupy several 
chapters in the Ritual of the Dead, On his descent into Ker-neter 
he has to pass through fifteen gates, guarded by genii with swords, at 
each of which he has to prove his good deeds and his knowledge of 
divine things : this constitutes his initiation. He has then to work 
hard in tilling the vast fields intersected with rivers and canals — an 
.Egypt in the world below: the harvest he reaps is knowledge. 
Next, he sustains terrible combats with. monsters of fantastic shapes, 
amongst which the great serpent R^rof or Apap is the one most bent 
on his destruction ; and his triumph depends on the use of a long 
series of exorcisms or on the last resource of assimilating each of his- 
members to those of different deities. At length his whole being is 
absorbed in that of Osiris, who has himself borne the same trials 
and accompanies the soul through all. The god who was the giver 
of life becomes its redeemer and saviour : having himself been raised 
from death, he conducts the just to resurrection. The final state of 
identification with this deity is signified by prefixing the name of 
Osiris to that of the deceased. 

Section IV. — Egyptian Abt. 

§ 22. Egypt, as we began by saying, not only possessed, but has 
handed down in forms as lasting as the world, the oldest monuments 
of building and sculpture, the oldest pictures, the oldest writing, 
literature, and science. In the formative arts she has had no superior 
except her pupil, Greece, and in majestic grandeur no rival ; there 
is even a delicate beauty in her best colossi, partly concealed by their 
vast size and their attitudes of repose ; and it has be(m said by no 
mean judge, " Give motion to these rocks, and Greek ari. would be 

The art of Egypt was consecrated to the service of her religion, and 
bears the impress of its character. In Architecture, taking liltle care 
for the abodes of the living, the builders lavished toil and skill on 
the tombs of the dead and the temples of the gods. The great palaces 
of the Theban kings, indeed, were the ostentatious works of despots ; 
but these also partook of the character of temples. All their edifices 
look like the work of men who, believing in the immortality of the 
soul and of the body too, sought to give eternity to matter. Their 


endurance for periods reaching up to 4000 years is the result, not so 
much of their materials, as of their form and structure. The pyramid, 
in itself the most stable of all forms, has its stability enhanced, in 
the best examples, by a breadth greater than the height ; and yet 
the Great Pyramid is the highest building in the world. The walls 
of the j^opylcta of the temples, besides their enormous thickness, 
have a pyramidal form. The columns have a great diameter in pro- 
portion to their height ; the intercolumniations are close ; and, in all 
caseSj the immense width of base gives the impression of imperishable 
stability. Nor does this grandeur exclude grace: many of the 
columna have capitals as beautiful in their style as the Greek 
" orders" in theirs ; and all travellers agree that the architecture of 
Egypt has that peculiar adaptation to its vertical sun, its clear atmo- 
sphere, and its wide plains, which stamps it as perfect in its kind. 

§ 23b The buildings may be divided into four great classes : the 
Pyramids, characteristic of the early age, from the IV th (perhaps 
the 1st) to the Xllth dynasty ; the Temples, belonging chiefly to the 
Theban and later monarchies, from the Xllth dynasty downwards, 
though we have an earlier example, of a peculiar type, in the temple 
of Shafre, near the pyramids ; the Palaces, belonging chiefly to the 
Theban kings, but with one great example of earlier times in the 
Labyrinth of the XUth dynasty ; and the rock-hewn or subterranean 
Tombs, belonging to all periods. The detailed description of these 
buildings, so feu: as they have not been already mentioned, must be 
left to the special works on Egyptian antiquities^^ Of the general 
character of the pyramids and tombs we have had occasirai to speak ; 
and of the palaces it will be enough to £wld here that tbey consist oi 
vast courts, halls, and corridors, the walls being adc»rned with 
paintings or coloured bas-reliefs of the exploits of the kings, whose 
colossal statues were placed in the courts. 

The temples are of two classes; those hewn in the living rock, 
and those erected on the plain. The former are usually considered 
the oldest ; but the true distinction seems rather one of place than of 
time — 'the rock-hewn temples belonging almost entirely to the narrow 
valley of Upper Egypt and Nubia. Certainly none of them is so 
old us the temple of Shafre ; and the whole style of Egyptian archi- 
tecture, in its clustered columns and other details, points back to an 
original structure of wood : besides, the construction of the rock-hewn 
temples, in their internal columns, architraves, &c., and their external 
porticoes, is assimilated to that of an independent ediflce. Tho 
general form of an Egyptian temple^' consists of a large oblong area, 
enclosed on the sides and back by a massive wall, faced with gigantic 


70 See, besides the works of WiUdnson, and the larger collections of plates, the 
admirable popular sommary by Mr. George Long, ' Egyptian Antiqnitiea,' 2 rols. 

71 See Frontispieoe. 


propylcea (literally frorU-gatevxiy), which not only fill up the front 
but project beyond it on the two sides. The edifice thus named by 
the Greeks consists of a gateway, flanked by a pair of wide and lofty 
masses (not towers, for they are of solid masonry or brickwork, faced 
with stone), in the form of tall truncated pyramids, covered on all 
their outward faces with three or more rows of gigantic figures in 
relief, painted with bright colours, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. 
The propylaea of Edfou (which is an excellent type of a temple) are 
each above 104: feet wide and 37 deep at the base, diminishing to an 
area of 84 feet X 20 feet at the summit, which is about 114 feet 
high, the total width of frontage being a little over 226 feet (the 
gateway occupying above 17 feet clear). The area was divided, 
about equally, into a front court, surrounded by a colonnade, and the 
temple itself, the latter being enclosed by its own wall, distinct from 
the outer wall of the area. Within this were three chief parts : in 
front the pronaos, a portico, or rather columnar hall, with the inter- 
columniations of the front row built up to a certain height, to form a 
screen on each side of the entrance ; then the ndos, sekos, or cell, 
forming the first sanctuary, which is also columnar ; and behind this, 
but with some smaller chambers between, the adytum, or most holy 
place, in which was the image of the god. The gateway of the 
adytum was covered with a curtain.^^ The naos was smaller than 
the pronaos, and the adytum much smaller still, each having its 
distinct wall, and the last (at least at Edfou) having two ; so that 
there was ample space for treasuries, vestries, and other chambers- for 
the priests, as well as ambulatories between the walls, from which 
staircases led up to the roof; for the whole sanctuary was roofed in, 
and there were no windows. In spite of the darkness, the inner as 
well as outer walls of the sanctuary were painted in brilliant colours. 
How these chambers were lighted up we are not told. 

This, which may be considered the complete form of an Egyptian 
temple, at least in its essential parts, was an aggregation of parts 
round the central sanctuary ; and we know that most of the great 
temples, like our own cathedrals, were the work of age after age. 
The comparison may be extended ; for, just as most of our cathedrals 
and minsters are or were surrounded by a mass of conventual or 
other buildings, so, in connection with an Egyptian temple, there 
would be buildings required for all the puiposes of the colleges of 
priests. There were also some exterior appendages, which seem to 
have been essential to the temple — sphinxes, generally arranged 
in avenues; obelisks, which were memorial pillars; and colossal 

'* See the passagre quoted above from Clemens Alexandrinus, which illustrates 
the use of the two ohambers. No traces have been found of gates or their 


§ 24. The Sculpture of Egypt is as entirely the product of religion 
as its architecture, of which it is essentially the development. Its 
origin was in the temple, the plain walls of which furnished surfaces 
for the delineation, at first in mere outline, of subjects connected with 
religion or the exploits of the builders of the edifice. The figures 
were made more effective and permanent by being sculptured in 
relief or sunk into the surface, the former being more usual on Uie 
exterior, the latter on the interior walls. The relief became higher 
and bolder, till the figures were isolated, or nearly so ; for sculptures 
abeolutely detached are rare ; even when they stand alone there is 
generally a sort of pilaster down the back. 

The whole spirit of Egyptian sculpture is xyrnboHsm, rather than 
the direct imitation of nature ; and an attitude of repose, expreflsive 
of religious peace.** In these two principles we have the simple 
answer to many faults ignorantly chargeti upon the knowledge and 
power of the artists. The absence of anatomical display is not due 
to the want of that knowledge of the human figure which the 
Grreeks acquired in the pala»stra ; for in Egypt the common people 
went^all but, and often absolutely, naked. Details were designedly 
sai>pre8sed for the sake of simple majesty. Both in architecture and 
sculpture, the Egyptian artist had learnt that great lesson — the 
ignorance or neglect of which is the ruin of the best technical skill, 
and never more so than in our own da j—w?ten to let things alone. 
He also adapted his workmanship to his material ; and knew better 
than to make mouldings of hard stone like cabinet work, or a granite 
colossus like a figure carved in wood or cast in metaL All the curves 
are gentle ; the features broadly moulded ; the arms (in a sitting 
statue) hang down from the shoulders, with the hands resting on the 
thighs, or supporting some shrine or sacred image on the knees — or 
(when the statue is erect) they are generally crossed over the breast, 
except when either hand has to hold out the emblem which is nearly 
always placed in it, as a sceptre or whip, a ring-handled cross or a 
lotus-flower ; the legs are generally joined, or, if one is advanced, tho 
body rests upon the other, and both are often attached to supporting 
pilasters, the feet being parallel and fully resting on the ground — 
indicating rather an attitude than a forward motion. 

But, where detail is appropriate, the execution is often most 
perfect, as in figures of animals, where the artist was not bound hf 
hieratic rules ; and even the hieroglyphics, in which we might have 
expected mere indications of the objects, are often carved with the 
exactest truth. But also in the hngest works of the best ages there 
is an exquisite delicacy of work, besides the wonderful finish which 

'* The preralenee of sfmbolinn is especially Men in tiioae compound figures^ of 
which we have lately spoken. See § 19. 


must have cost untold labour ; ^* and perhaps the greatest triumph 
of Egyptian art is in the wonderful expression given to the hugest 
colossi, in spite of — ^unless we rather say because of — the abstinence 
from effects gained by detail or (if the phrase is permitted) by 
" sensational " action. If we miss the variety of real life; which 
pleases by its truthful rendering of what is familiar and by its appeal 
to human sympathies, we have in its place an appeal to what the 
Egyptian artist considered the far higher emotions of religious 
reverence in the symmetrical arrangement of all the members of 
the same figure, the general likeness of attitude in all, and a sort of 
harmonious rhythm of like postures where several figures are com- 
bined in one composition. In the same spirit the head is finished 
more carefully than the body. The power of portraiture is con- 
spicuous in the physiognomies of the foreigners constantly represented 
in the bas-reliefs ; we may venture to say, with literal etymological 
truth, that the Egyptian artist was an ethnographer. 

§ 25. These general principles are common to all Egyptian 
sculpture ; but there are differences of style, which mark out five 
different periods of the art. First, the grand simplicity of the 
earliest age, as seen in the Memphite tombs of the pyramid period, 
keeps nearer to nature than was permitted by the hieratic canon of 
the human figure, which makes its appearance about the Twelfth 
Dynasty. The grand climax of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth 
Dynasties, as seen in the works of the Thothmes, the Amunophs, Seti, 
and Rameses II., is followed by a sudden decline, some of the later 
works of the last-named great patron of art being extremely rude 
and careless. The fifth and last age is that of the renaissance under 
the Saite kings, in which we have already traced the influence of the 

§ 26. Fainting was chiefly used by the Egyptians as a decorative 
art, and very Uttle for ideal compositions. They coloured the 
columns and the architectural details of their buildings, and the bas- 
reliefs upon their walls. The plane surfaces, especially in the interior 
of the tombs, were covered with those painted scenes from which we 
derive such abundant knowledge of their life. On the wrappings of 
the mummies they painted effigies of the deceased, and the coffins 
were lined with painted hieroglyphics; They used primary colours 
almost exclusively, and, among the secondary, green only; never 
attempting to compound colours so as to produce a variety of tints. 
Their pigments, some mineral and some vegetable, were mostly the 
natural products of the country;^* and the list is pretty well 

^* Among the representations of their rarions works, we have the process of 
polishing a granite colossus, and also its transport on a sledge. 

75 They manufactured indigo by a process the imperfection of which is shown 
by the sand which glitters on the painted surface. 


exhausted by these six : — white, black, red, blue, yellow, and green — 
remarkable for their purity and permanence. The colours are laid 
on in distinct patches, as a child paints a picture, especially in human 
figures ; in those of animals there is some little attempt at blending 
and softening the contiguous parts. Red is their flesh colour ; but 
in the representation of conquered races they evidently used colours 
as conventional distinctions. Thus, in one i)icture, the people have 
yellow bodies and black beards : in another the men are red and the 
women yellow.^^ 

Of their use of painting for other than merely decorative purposes 
we have examples in a few tablets of wood ; and the Ritual of the 
Dead is illustrated with vignettes drawn by the pen vnth a freedom, 
firmness, and purity, not far short of the Greek painted vases. One 
striking peculiarity of their pictures, in our eyes, is the total 
absence of perspective, as well as the curious substitutes for it in 
the mode of placing files of soldiers, or captives, or labourers, over 
one another's heads, rows of trees around a rectangular tank, and so 
forth. In some of the pictures of entertainments the seated figures 
overlap one another in such a manner as to suggest a receding line, 
though the heads and feet range in horizontal lines ; and pairs of 
horses or rows of cattle are indicated by a portion of the outline 
of the further figure or figures projecting beyond that of the forwarder 
with sometimes a different colour or shading. 

Section V. — Writing, Liter atubb, and Science. 

§ 27. As the pictorial art of the Egyptians, in its symbolical 
expression of ideas, approached to the significance of writing, so, on 
the other hand, their writing was founded on a pictorial representation 
of the ideas to be expressed, though it went far beyond a mere 
system of picture-writing. The antiquity of the art in Egypt is 
attested by the symbol of the scribe's implements — the ink-pot, 
reed, and palette — on the monuments of the pyramid period; its 
universal employment by the registration scenes, the method of 
legal procedure, the ofi&cial correspondence, and the multitude of 
written documents, to which we have had frequent occasion to 

It would almost seem as if nature had assigned to Egypt tlie 
invention of writing by the gift of the papyrus reeci (cyperus 
papyrtL8)J^ Unlike the paper named after it, which is a mann- 
fkctiired I issue, the inner pellicles of the reed were used in their 

^* In some cases the colours may be those with which the ];>eople used to paint 
themselves ; as Herodotus (vii. 69) describes certain Ethiopian tribes as having 
one-half of their bodies painted with gypsum, and the other half with vermilion. 

77 The Egryptian name was (in its Greek form) byblus (Herod, ii. 93), whence 
the Greek ^i^Xiov (book) ; so that the very name of our Bible points to the country 
where Moses, and perhaps Abraham before him, learnt the art of writing. 


natural state, being spread out flat, and the slips joined together 
(Pliny says) with Nile water,^® but probably also with some gluten. 
The breadth of the pellicle determined that of the leaf of paper, 
which reaches about 13 fingers* breadth ; but it might bo made of 
any length by joining pieces together ; and the book so formed could 
and still can, from the toughness of the thin substance, be rolled up 
and unrolled without cracks or creasing. Writing was performed 
with a reed or goose-quill, and a carbonaceous ink, which has 
remained unchanged for centuries. The lines were in the direction 
of the length of the leaf, from right to left, in columns of convenient 
width (generally about six or eight inches), which also succeeded 
each other from right to left.^* The writing engraved on the monu- 
ments is sometimes in horizontal lines, either from right to left or 
vice versd; but more frequently the characters are arranged in 
vertical columns. 

§ 28. The Greeks distinguished three forms of Egyptian writ- 
ing, which they called the hieroglyphic (sacred carving), hieratic 
(priestly), and demotic (popular) or enchorial (of the country). 
The first two names are apt to convey a wrong impression, as if the 
knowledge of these characters had been confined to the sacerdotal 
class ; whereas, in fact, they were employed in public monuments and 
in ordinary documents intended for universal reading, and on objects 
of every-day use. The last form is distinguished from the other 
two, not by its origin and its more popular use, but simply in 
respect of time. The hieroglyphic is an uncial, or fully-formed cha- 
racter, particularly suited to monumental inscriptions : the hieratic 
is a cursive, or more abbreviated form of the same characters, 
adapted to the flowing movement of the pen : the demotic is a 
further simplification of the hieroglyphic writing, which was intro- 
duced, about the beginning of the 7th century B.C., for civil docu- 
ments in the vulgar dialect, which had by that time departed 
considerably from the ancient language. The continued use of the 
older forms in the monuments and in the books of the priests 
gave the Greeks occasion to describe them by names implying 

§ 29. All three forms were alike unintelligible to the Greek 
travellers in Egypt, but they had the priests for interpretei-s. This 
key lost, the treasures of Egyptian learning — " a library of stones 
and papyri in myriads of volumes '* — appeared to be sealed for ever, 
till, early in the 19th century, the key was found by Dr. Young, 
and successfully applied by M. Champollion-Fig^ac.** The dis- 

'8 Plin. 'H. N.»xiii.ll, 12. 

7* The fact that the Egyptians wrote from right to left is distinctly stated by 
Horodotus, and abundantly proved by the papyri, 

so We believe that this somewhat fl^rative phrase fairly describes the respec- 


covery was first made from the " Rosetta Stone,* one of the gatherings 
of Napoleon's exi)edition to Egypt, and now in the British Musemn. 
It is a piece of black basalt, engraved with a trilingual inscription 
in honour of King Ptolemy V. Epiphanes, about the beginning of 
the second century B.C. The same text (as was first assumed, and 
then proved by the result) is repeated, first in hieroglyphics, secondly 
iu enchorial characters, lastly in Greek : but the stone is so mutilated 
at the comers and one edge that the first part of the hieroglyphic 
text and the last part of the Greek are lost, as well as the beginning 
of several lines of the enchorial. The first comparison made was that 
of certain names and titles, which occur frequently in the Greek 
text, with groups of characters similarly repeated in the corre- 
sponding parts of the enchorial. Conspicuous among these was the 
name of Ptolemy, which Dr. Young next found in the hieroglyphic 
text, guided by a suggestion, previously made, that the oval ringt, 
or cartouches, constantly seen in hieroglyphic inscriptions, formed 
the enclosure or setting of royal names. Hence he determined the 
phonetic or alphabetic value of the characters which he supposed 
to spell Ptdemaios, or Ptdemeos, and then those of Berenice,^ In 
1822, the publication of the bilingual inscription on the obelisk at 
Philae enabled ChampoUion (who was now a convert to Dr. Young's 
phonetic method) to decipher the name of Cleopatra, The subse- 
quent discovery of many other Greek and Roman names led him on 
to the deciphering of the letters of common words. 

Thus far, it will be observed, nothing had been made out of the 
meanings of the words whose letters were beginning to be identified. 
This step was taken by aid of the principle, that the old Egyptian lan- 
guage was kindred to the Coptic. At length, Champollion succeeded 
in constructing an Egyptian grammar and vocabulary, which has 
been since continually enlarged by the labours of Lepsius and 
Brugsch, Ampere, Mariette, De Roug^ and Lenormant, Gliddon, 
Birch, Osbum, and others. Notwithstanding the ultra-scepticism 
of such a critic as Sir George Comewall Lewis, we may safely say 
with Brugsch that " the rules of hieroglyphic grammar have now 
become the common property of science." De Roug^, one of the 
most successful decipherers, affirms that we can now translate three- 

tiTe claims of the English and French diseoTerers. It is tme that Dr. Toong's 
discoveries were only published in the Supplement to the * Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica' in 1819, whereas ChampoUion's essay * De I'Ecritore hi^ratiqae des Anciens 
Egyptiens ' appeared in 1812 ; but this work was based on the fundamental error, 
that the hieratic characters are entirely ideographie and not phonetic, signs oC 
things and not of sounds. Still Champollion had already got hold of two im- 
portant truths, that some of the characters are ideographic, and that the hieratic 
character is an abridgment of the hieroglyphics. 

*^ From so narrow an induction the result could of course be but imperfect ; 
but it is wonderful how nearly this first attempt gave the true value of the 


quarters of the longest documents, sometimes more and sometimes 
less, according to the diflBculty of the subject It is evident, for 
instanqe, that a text on mythological mysteries, or the metaphors 
of poetry, will be far more obscure than a simple narrative or a 
genealogy f^ and yet many of the former kinds have been satisfac- 
torily translated. 

§ 30. The hieroglyphic characters (using the word now for all 
three kinds of writing) are partly phonetic and partly ideographic : 
the former representing alphabetic letters or syllabic sounds ; the 
latter standing for the actual objects signified. The latter are pro- 
bably the oldest, but the former are by far the most numerous, and 
the two are intermixed in all Egyptian texts. Both are pictorial in 
their origin. The picture which makes a phonetic character is that 
of an object whose name begins with the letter, or forms the syllaUe^ 

to be represented ; as if, for example, we made a li(m ^^m^ stand 

for the letter L, or the pictures of a maTi li^B and a c^ra^e '^B^ 

for the two syllables of the word mandrake,^ 

The ideographic characters are of two classes, figurative and 
symbolic. In the first, the name of the object is expressed by its 

own. figure, either real or conventional, as ^H^ for the word man, 

%^ for sun, ^^\ for moon, /0fi for ox, Mt' for road, 
C^3 for house : all of this class are necessarily nouns. The cha- 
racters are sometimes abbreviated, as when the head of an ox is put 
for the whole,** or a pair of dots (• i\ representing the pupils, for 

the eyes. In the second class, the concrete figure stands for a noun or 
verb of abstract meaning; and the variations of these symbolic forms 
show a wonderful fertility. The following are the chief heads : — 
(1) By synecdoche, — a figurative abbreviation, in which a part is put 
for the whole, BS two arms holding weapons for a battle. (2) By 
metonymey, — the cause for the effect, and vice versa, or the instru- 

•2 De Roug^, * Notice des Monuments Egj^tiens da Mas^e ^du Louvre,' Paris, 
1869 : a work invaluable for the amount of information in a very small compass. 
It is perhaps hardly necessary to observe that great use has to be made of the 
principle, that satisfactory results are an argrument (we don't say more) for the 
truth of the method that led to them. The argumentwn in circtilo is often 
the very reverse of a fallacy ; just as every brick in a circular tunnel helps to 
support every other. 

^ We are quite familiar, at this day, with similar combinations in the riddle 
called n rebtiSt and in " punning or canting heraldry." 

8» As in our letter A, ^^ passing into ^^| ^fj ^^ /^» the initial of 
the Hebrew and Phoenician Aleph, an ox. 


ment for the worky as the sun for day, the moon ^^ for months 
a. pair of eyes ( « ^y or pupils f ♦ /) for seiing, and the set of ma^ 

terials formerly mentioned v/gl/ for writing, (3) By metaphor, — 

as a bee for a king, from the monarchical constitution of the hive ; 
the anterior members of a lion, for priority or pre-eminence, and its 
head fqr valour and vigilance, as it was believed to sleep with open 
eyes. (4) By enigma, where the object depicted has only some 
remote or fanciful connection with the idea to be expressed. Thus, 
an ostrich-feather signifies justice f^ a palm-frond typified the year^ 
from the belief that the tree bore twelve fronds, one for each month. 
Another important symbol of this class is the serpent uroeiLs, for 
divinity and royalty, as which it appears also in the head-dress of 
gods and kings.^ 

§ 31. The wide field of Egyptian Literature laid open by these 
discoveries is as yet but very partially explored ; and the treasures we 
possess are but a gleaning of those that are lost. The Books of 
Egypt are spoken of by the classical authors; and the "sacred 
library " which Diodorus mentions at Thebes, with the inscription 
" Dispensary of the Soul," ^ has been discovered in the Eameseum 
at Kamak. The jambs of the doorway, leading from the great hall 
to a suite of nine small rooms, are sculptured with figures of Tlioth^ 
the great god of letters, and his companion goddess 8af — the former 
with the emblem of sight, the latter with that of hearing — and with 
the titles of "Lady of Letters'* and "President of the Hall of 
Books." We can hardly doubt that libraries were attached to all 
the principal temples, especially to those of the three great colleges 
of priests. 

The contents of these Pharaonic Libraries anticipated the fate of 
the treasures of Greek learning which the Ptolemies long after accu- 
mulated at Alexandria ; and the later Egyptian books shared that 
fate. The papyri that remain have been for the most part pre- 
served in the closed tombs and mummy-cases of the dead. As 
might have been expected, their subjects are mainly religious, and 
by far the most important of this class is the often mentioned 
Ritual of the Dead, or more properly the Book of Manifestation to 
the Light, which we may venture to call the Egyptian BiUe. Like 
the Jewish Scriptures, it is the product of every age of the national 

^^ The reason alleged, that all the feathers of the bird were beUeved to be 
equal, seems hardly satisfactory. 

8« We are necessarily content to indicate the general principles of hieroglyphic 
interpretation. For further details, see the works of Cbampollion and Gliddcm on 
Hieroglyphics, Sir G. Wilkinson's Appendix to Book II. of * Herodotus,* chap. v. ; 
and Mr. Poole's article Hieroglyphics in the 9th edition of the ' Encyclopaedia 
Britannica.' ■' ♦wx^ tarpctov : Diod. i. 49. 


religion. To say nothing of the traditions which ascribed its oldest 
parts to such kings as Hesepti of the 1st Dynasty, and Menkera 
of the IVth, chapters of it are found on monuments earlier than the 
Hyksos ; but its final form was settled by an authoritative revision 
under the Saite kings of the XXVIth Dynasty. It contains a 
complete account of the Egyptian doctrine of the Future Life ; the 
pilgrimages of the soul through the infernal hemisphere ; and the 
hymns, prayers, and manifold formularies and ceremonies, belonging 
to funerals and the worship of the dead. Incidentally to its main 
subject, it supplies a code of Egyptian morals, in the declarations, 
made by the soul before its judges of the sins it has abstained from, 
and the good deeds it has done. It is striking to read among the 
latter, — " I have given food to the hungry ; I have given the thirsty 
to drink ; I harve furnished clothing to the naked :*' — ^but the parallel 
is not complete till we remember that what the judge will say, to 
the surprise of those on His right hand, is said by the self-righteous 
Egyptian of himself. Of the same class, a short treatise on the 
Migrations of the Soul is sometimes found in tombs of a late age ; 
and we have also copies of a picture-book on the voyages of the 
Sun through the lower world, and many fragments of religious 
hymns, which are often highly poetical. 

The priests traced up the origin of all this religious literature to 
the first or celestial Thoth, the Hermes Trismegistus of the Greeks, 
who was inspired to write his books by the supreme god. He was, 
in fact, a personification of the divine intelligence. His earthly 
counterpart, the Second Thoth, was the author of all the social 
institutions of the land. It was he that organized the Egyptian 
nation ; established religion, and regulated worship ; taught men 
^11 the sciences — ^astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, weights and 
measures, language, writing, and the fine arts ; in a word, all the 
elements of civilization. This knowledge was embodied in the forty- 
two sacred ^^ hermetic hooks,'* of which the priests were the cus- 
todians, and the contents of which they were bound to master, 
in whole or in part, according to their rank in the sacerdotal hier- 
archy. In fact, their exclusive possession of this knowledge was 
guarded by the name of Thoth, who was the institutor of the 
priesthood, and the personified type of the learned class, just as 
Osiris typified the king. 

We have spoken sufiBciently of the historical literature engraved 
upon the monuments : of that written in books, though doubtless 
very extensive, the Turin papyrus of the Kings is our chief extant 
specimen. The Turin Museum also contains a fragment of a map 
of the time of Seti I., representing the region of the Nubian gold- 
mines. Of metrical chronicles, or epic poems, we have cited an 
example from the account of the war of Ramcses II. against the 


Kheta by Pentaour. Our own Museum is very rich in works com- 
posed by scribes in the fonn of letters as models of style, like the 
declamations of the Greek and Roman rhetoricians, or the Makamai 
of the Arabian poets. One written during the wars of the XlXth 
dynasty describes, in a series of verses in accentuated prose, the 
hardships of the soldier's life. The oldest Romances in the world 
are found among these Egyptian books : but they all have a moral 
and religious bearing. We have already had occasion to mention 
one such — the oldest fairy-tale in the world — composed for the use 
of Men^htha, the son of Kameses II.® 

§ 32. We possess but few fragments of the great mass of scien- 
tific literature accumulated by the priests. 1 Vo treatises on medicine 
in the Berlin Museum shew that the remedies used were altogether 
empirical and often very absurd. With some good points of dia- 
gnosis, and a certain knowledge of anatomy, they combine the most 
&nciful theories of physiology. The exact position of Egyptian 
physicians is obscure ; but most probably they belonged to the sacer- 
dotal order. Herodotus tells us that there were special physicians 
for the diseases of each member of the human body. 

The Greek historian reckons geometry among the sciences invented 
by the Egyptians from the necessity of marking out the boundaries of 
their lands afresh every year after the inundation. A papyms in the 
British Museum contains a dozen theorems in practical geometry. 

The Egyptian knowledge of astronomy has been eza^erated. 
The [niests were diligent observers and recorders of pJienomena ; • 
and they applied their observations to the practical porpose of settling 
the sacred calendar with the same d^ree of accuracy which was 
long after attained by the Julian Reformation. But neith^ in this, 
nor in any other branch of physical science, did they genersLilze 
facts into laws, or establish them by proof. Of their addiction to 
astrology we have an example in the British Mnsemn, — a calendar 
of the time of the XlXth dynasty, specifying for each day the acts 
which were rendered lucky or unlucky by the influence of the stars. 
There is a papyrus containing some observations on the planets : but 
these are difficult to interpret, from our ignorance of the Egyptian 
names for the stars. The received system of constellations was 
first introduced into l^jpt by the Greeks ; and the famous Zodiac 
on the ceiling of the temple of Tentyra {Denderd) is now well 
known to belong to the time of the Ptolemies. 

Their system of numerals resembled the Roman in the expresrion 
of units by strokes, and of tens, and fOfwers of 10, by new tymbds, 

•* See chap. ii. § 7. 

"^ Herod, ii. 82. We hare already explained their Yagut Tear of 365 days, and 
their Sothic Tear of 365^, and the Bvthic Period of 1461 years, which reconciled 
the two. 


^Iiey placed the units to the left, that ie, last, according to their 

mode of writing; so as to read (t 
highest deDOminstioQ to the lowest, 
chu-acters, the strokes (m the units t 
to look curiously like the Indian (( 

» For ruither inrormatloit on the Kicnce 

' system) from the 
In the demotic and hieratic 
re sometimes combined, so as 
r, as we call tbem, Arabic) 

dBr or t!iB Egyptiiin, ie« 
Wilkinun'a AppendlT to 

ire fuUy dBKribed br Bit 





§ 9. The earliest monuments of Babylonia. Evidences of civilization. Astro- 
nomy, and worship of the heavenly bodies. Cuneiform Writing. § 10. The 
earliest cities of Babylonia. The northern tetrapoliSf — Babel, Borsippa, Cutha, 
and Sippara : and the aoutherny — Erech, Calneh, Larsa, and Hur. Greater 
antiquity of the latter. § 11. Their relation to the original Babel. Probable 
interval of a Scytho- Aryan dominion, the Second Dynasty of Manetho. § 12. 
The Third {Chaldcpan) Dynasty of Berosus, probably represented by the Cushite 
kingdom of Nimrod. Its capital at Hur. Inscriptions of Urukh and Ilgi. 
§ 13. The Fourth Dynasty of Berosus, probably Cushite conquerors from 
Busiana. Khudur-mabuk. Chedorlaomer — his aUies, indicating the different 
races of Babylonia. The "Four Kaces." § 14. Extension of Babylonian 
power over Assyria. Jsmt^fa^on and his sons. Naramsin. Merodach-NamanOf 
" King of Babylon." Succeeding kings. Canal of Xhammarubi. § 15. 
Egyptian conquests in Mesopotamia. Assyria independent of the Babylonian 
kingdom. Its overthrow. The Fifth or Arabian Dynasty of Berosus. Power 
returns to the Semitic race. § 16. The name Chaldcean never used on the 
monuments of these early kings. Its earliest application to Babylonia. Used 
by Berosus as a geographical term. 

§ 1. Following the curve of the great desert zone, from its inter- 
ruption by the valley of the Nile and its second break at the Red 
Sea, across the deserts of Arabia and Syria, we come to the wide 
valley watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris, and ending in 
the great bay of the Persian Gulf. Beyond this the desert region, 
which in Africa is a low plain, sometimes even below the level of 
the sea, rises into the table-land of Iran. The division is formed by 
the mountains of Kurdistan and Luristan, whose chains run in a 
south-easterly direction from the great highland region of Armenia. 
This central knot gives birth to the two great rivers, which, with 
their confluents from the eastern range, after watering the undulating 
region of foot-hills (the pied-mont of Western Asia) flow down into 
the plain, and redeem a large portion of it from the desert, before 
they pour their united stream into the Persian Gulf. 

The formation of this region has a certain resemblance to the 
valley of the Nile ; but it offers still more striking contrasts, the 
efifects of which are marked in history. In both cases, rich alluvial 
plains, fertilized by great rivers, which formed at the same time a 
highway of intercourse, presented the fittest field for early civiliza- 
tion. But while the narrow chasm of Egypt was shut in by its 
bordering hills and the deserts beyond, and peopled by a homoge- 
neous race, whose fixed institutions endured for millennium after 
millennium ; — the broad valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, greatly 
varied in its own surface, was overhung on the north and east by 
hills, whence hardy races were ever ready to pour upon its fertile 
plains, which lay open on the west to the predatory tribes of the 
Desert ; besides the great highway through Syria, which exposed its 
unconsolidated tribes to the attacks of the great Egyptian monarchy. 
The foot-hills, which divided it from Upper Asia, marked also 
roughly the division between the Hamitic and Semitic races on the 
one side, and the Ajyan and Tiuranian races on the other ; and from 

Chap. X. MESOPOTAMU. 1 93 

the earliest times we find a remarkable intermixture of populations, 
especially on the lower course of the two rivers. 

We have seen that the political stability of Egypt was not alto- 
gether uninterrupted ; and that considerable foreign populations were 
always settled in the Delta. But the monarchy retained a perma- 
nent character, under all dynastic changes ; and those changes were 
as nothing compared with the waves of conquest which have swept 
like alternating tides both across and up and down the valley of the 
Tigris and Euphrates. The region of Mesopotamia was the field on 
which all the races of the ancient world, from Nimrod to the suc- 
cessors of Mohammed, contended for the empire of Western Asia. 
It was subject in turn to Cushites, Aryans, and Semites, — Chal- 
daeans, Arabs and Egyptians, — Assyrians, and Chaldaeans again, — 
Medes, Persians, and Greeks, — Parthians, and restored Persians, — 
Mohammedan Arabs and Turks, and Persians again. The old rivalry 
of Egypt and Assyria was renewed in the Middle Ages, when Saladin 
marched from Cairo to the conquest of Western Asia ; and, in our 
time, the renewal of Egypt's empire on the Euphrates has been pre- 
vented only by European intervention. The great capitals have 
been as transitory as the empires themselves. While the stone- 
built pyramids and tombs, palaces and temples, of Memphis and 
Thebes are still the wonder of the world, and Alexandria remains 
the great port of the Levant, the brick towers and walls and palaces 
of Nineveh, Babylon, and Susa, and even the later capitals of 
Seleucia and Ctesiphou, are formless mounds, the vague landmarks 
of vanished empires. But here comes in another happy resemblance 
to Egypt ; for those mounds have begun in our time to yield up 
their long-hidden contributions to the history of the East. 

§ 2. This whole r^on is included for convenience under the 
general name of Mesopotamia ; ^ and in the most important periods 
of its history it formed the single empire, first of Assyria and after- 
wards of Babylon. But it was not thus united in the earliest times, 
and its poUtical divisions correspond to marked physical diversities. 
From the great mass of Asia, its south-western portion is cut off, as 
a sort of peninsula, first by the Caucasian isthmus between the Cas- 
pian and the Black Sea. From the southern part of this isthmus, 
the Armenian mountains— which the valley of the Cyrus (Kur) 
divides from the chain of Caucasus — throw out, on the one side, the 
ranges which form the peninsula of Asia Minor, with a southern 
branch down the sea-board of Syria, — and, on the other, the above- 
named chains of Kurdistan and Luristan^ reaching to the Persian 

1 This Greek word signifies the country between the rivers ; and is used looeely 
for tJie region of the two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates). It is the exact etymolo- 
gical equivalent of the Semitic dual, Naharama (or m), which is found on the 
Egyptian monuments, and in the Aram~Ndharaim of Scripture. 


Gulf. Thus, between this Gulf and the Mediterranean a smaller 
peninsula is cut off, consisting chiefly of the desert of Arabia, which 
is prolonged northwards in a wedge-shaped form between Syria on 
the west and the north-eastern portion which forms the region of 

§ 3. The two great rivers of this country take their rise in the 
mountains of Armenia ; but they start on very different courses. 

The Euphrates ^ (^Frat) is at first formed by two branches,' both 
of which rise in the central knot of the Armenian highlands, and flow 
westward through distinct valleys, till the united stream — already 
120 feet wide, and very deep — turns the western end of the chain of 
Mount Niphates {Nebad, the Snowy range), and flows southward, 
first between the chains of Taurus and Masius (Karja Baglar), in a 
swift ccRirse, with many rapids, to Samosata, where it begins to be 
navigable ; and then past the foot-hills of Upper Mesopotamia, till 
(at 36° N. lat.) it reaches the level of the Great Syrian Desert, 
through which it flows to the south-east. Above the latitude of 35° 
it receives the Chaboras (^ETiabur), which flows southwards from 
Mount Masius ; at the junction stood the celebrated city of Circe- 
sium. From this point to its junction with the Tigris, the Euphrates 
flows in a slow and winding stream for 800 miles, without receiving 
another tributar}'^ ; and much of its water loses itself in the desert, 
or passes off into the Tigris. It is widest below its junction with 
the Khabur (700 or 800 miles above its mouth), being about 400 
yards across : at Lemloon, some 100 miles below Babylon, its width 
has diminished to 120 yards, and its depth from 18 feet to 12. The 
same cause that diminishes its volume is continually changing its 
lower course. 

The Tigris (the Eiddekdoi Eden) * rises on the south side of Mount 

2 The word is probably of Aryan origin, the Greek prefix e^ having the same 
force as the Sanskrit su, the Zend Au, and the Teutonic gtd, good ; and the second 
element being fra^ the particle of abundance ; the whole thus signifying " the 
good and abounding river." The Hebrew is jueI; like the modern name ; but it is 
generally denoted in the Bible by Jtan-nahaTf i.e. ** the river," in grand contrast 
to the short-lived torrents of Palestine, and perhaps also as the boundary of the 
promised land — " the bordering fiood of old Euphrates" (Milton). In Gen. 
.XV. 18, both terms are used " the great river, the river Euphrates." 

* The northern branch, which rises near Jft. Ararat and flows past Erzeroum^ 
is called Frat and also Kara-Su (the Black River) ; the southern, which rises to 
the north of the great lake Van and fiows along the northern foot of M. Niphates, 
is called Murad-Chai; but the latter is the principal tftream. 

* The name of this river, under forms only apparently different, has been as 
permanent as that of the Euphrates. Perhaps the oldest form was Digla^ the 
Diglath of the Targums, &c., and the Diglit of Pliny (* H. N.* vi. 27) ; whence 
Hiddekel was formed by the Semitic prefix J3t, signifying lively (used of running 
water in Gen. xxvi. 19). This name occurs in the Babylonian cuneiform inscrip- 
tions, side by side with the Assyrian form Tiggar or Tigra (in Greek and Latin 
Tigris)^ which is said to have signified an arrowixi Medo-Persian (Strab. xi. 14, § 8: 
Plin. I.e.). It* seems, therefore, probable that there was in early Babylonian a 
root dik or dig^ equivalent to the Aryan tig or <(;; and that from these two roots 


Niphates, its chief source being a small lake, called Gbljik, which is 
separated by an intervening hill from one of the bends of the 
Euphrates, at a distance of only 2 or 3 miles. It skirts the southern 
foot of Mount Niphates, as the infant Euphrates its northern foot, 
but in the opposite direction ; flowing to the east through the valley 
of Biarhekr between that chain and Mount Masius, till the moun- 
tains of Kurdistan turn it in a direction varying between S.E. 
and S., along the foot of the chain anciently called Zagnis. Its 
waters, increased by many tributaries from these mountains, pour 
through a deep gorge of the secondary chain near Jezireh down to 
the upper undulating plain of Assyria Proper, and flow past the 
ruins of Nineveh opposite Mosul, Emerging on to the alluvial plain 
at Samara, the Tigris flows S.E., and then bends south towards the 
Euphrates till the rivers are less than 20 miles apart at Bagdad. A 
little lower, the two rivers are connected by the Nahr Malcha, or 
Boyal Canal; and just at its junction with the Tigris stood the 
Greek and Parthian capitals, Seleucia and Ctesiphon, on the oppo- 
site banks of the river. After a parallel course for many miles, the 
rivers again diverge ; and, about halfway towards their final junction, 
the Tigris pours a large portion of its waters due south into the 
Euphrates by a branch called the Shat-el-ffie ; while the main 
river, keeping its south-easterly direction, joins the Euphrates in the 
same latitude (31° N.) as the Shat-el-Hie, The united stream (now 
called the S?iat-el-Arab) kept the name of Tigris, though this was 
the narrower and shorter of the two rivers ; having a length of 1146 
miles, while that of the Euphrates was about 1780 miles. 

Both rivers are subject to inundations, caused by the melting of 
the snow on the Armenian mountains. The Tigris, having its 
sources on the southern slope of Mount Niphates, begins to rise 
earlier ; but nearly the whole inundation of the Babylonian plain is 
due to the Euphrates, whose immense alluvial deposits are said to 
advance the exit of the united stream into the Persian Gulf at the 
rate of a mile in from 30 to 70 years. The mouth, now in 30° North 
latitude, is estimated to have been, in the earliest historic age, as 
high as 31°, so that the two rivers flowed separately into the Gulf. 
In ancient history the Euphrates is pre-eminent as " the bordering 
flood " which has generally divided the rival combatants for the em- 
pire of Western Asia. It was also the usual course of conmiunica- 
tion between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. The Tigris 

were formed independently the two names, Dekelf DVd^i, or Digla, and Tiggar^ 
ligra, or Tigris. The Arab conquerors of Mesopotamia revived the true Semitic 
title in the modem native form of Digleh, The name (if rightly explained by 
Strabo and Pliny) would signify the nature of its rapid course, so much shorter 
and straighter, and therefore swifter, than the Euphrates; as Byron speaks of 
'* the arrowy Rhone." But what seems the same word in the royal name of Tiglath' 
pileser is explained by cuneiform scholars as adoration : and thus the Tigris might 
be the tacred river. 


was used for little more than local navigation, from the force of the 
stream and its natural obstructions, to which the Persians added 
dams, probably to regulate the inundation. 

§ 4r. The region watered by these great rivers is divided into two 
parts, which are physically very distinct, by a line drawn diagonally 
across the Sith parallel of latitude, from Hit on the Euphrates to 
Samara on the Tigris, and separating Upper Mesopotamia, or Assyria 
in the wider sense, from Lower Mesopotamia or Babylonia. The 
former is an undulating country, of the secondary geological formation, 
sloping down from the mountains on the north and east to the Eu- 
phrates and the desert on the south-west : aod suddenly falling, at 
the boundary-line named, into the great alluvial plain of Babylonia. 
The latter is a vast flat, about 100 miles in width, and extending 
about 400 miles along the rivers ; merging on the west and south into 
the Arabian desert, whose tertiary sands and gravel reach generally 
within 20 or 30 miles of the Euphrates, and sometimes cross it ; while 
on the east it reaches beyond the Tigris to the foot-hills of Elam (Ely- 
mais) or Susiana. This alluvial plain was again subdivided into Upper 
Babylonia, the country around and above Babylon, and Lower Bahy- 
Ionia, or (as the Greek geographers call it) Chaldoea — a name which 
we only use, for the present, as a purely geographical term!^ The 
name of Chaldaea is sometimes applied to the whole plain, wbich is 
also designated in Scripture as " the land of Shirmr^ ® a term which 
includes *• Babel " in Upper Babylonia, as well as " Erech, Calneh, 
and Accad,** in Lower Babylonia. 

Upper Mesopotamia was far more diversified, both in its physical 
character and its geographical subdivisions. Mesopotamia Proper 
(^Aram-Naharodm, Heb. ; Naharaln, Egypt. ; now El-Jezireh, i.e. 
the Idand), between the two rivers, as far south as the beginning 
of the alluvial plain, was divided into an upper and lower part by 
the Sinjar Hills (Singaras Mons.),^ which reach from the Khabur to 
the Tigris below Nineveh. The Khabur again subdivides the upper 
part into the hilly region about the foot of Mount Masius (the ancient 
Mygdonia or Gauzanitis), and the high undulating plain of Fadan- 
Aram ■ or Osroene, surrounded by the upper course of the Euphrates. 
The latter is intersected from N. to S. by the river Bellas, Balissus, 

A This name is applied by the Greek and Latin geographers to a part of Baby- 
onia, near the head of the Persian Gulf, and on the confines of Arabia (Strabo, 
xvi. pp. 739, 767 ; Plin. vi. 37 ; Ptol. y. 20, § 3). 

* Probably <SAm-*ar, the country of the two rivers, firom the Semitic Shni {two) 
and ^ar, the Babylonian equivalent of fioAr (a river). We have already observed 
that the Ethiopian Senruzar has the same meaning. The LXX. render ShirCar by 
Sennaar in Gen. xi. 3, and by Babylonia in Isaiah xi. 11, and Zech. v. 11. 

' This name is derived from the town of Singara, a frontier fortress of the 
Boman emperors against Persia, and seems to have a connection with Shinar. 

» That is, either the table-land of Aram, or the field of Aram, or upland field 
or pasture ground (for Aram means " high "). 


or Belichus, whicli falls into the Euphrates near GaUinicnm : on its 
banks the town of Charran retains the name of Haran (the resting- 
place of Abraham and the abode of Nahor and his family), and the 
memory of the defeat of Crassus by the Parthians. Lastly, Assyria 
Proper (the land of Asshur both in the vernacular and in Scripture) 
lay between the Tigris and the moimtains of Kurdistan, as far S. as 
the river Gyndes (^Diala), which divided it from Elam or Susiaoa. 
In its northern and eastern parts, the fertile foot-hills, well watered 
by the tributaries of the Tigris, rise to the rich pastures and wooded 
heights of the mountains of Zagrus. 

From above Nineveh downwards, the country becomes a plain, of 
the same character as the general surface of Mesopotamia — a beautiful 
pasture-ground, enamelled with flowers during the spring and early 
summer, but afterwards burned up except along the courses of the 
rivers. In ancient times its fertility and verdure were better pre- 
served by artificial irrigation. Wood was abundant, as it still is on 
the higher hills ; for Trajan and Severus built fleets on the Euphrates* 
Among its mineral products were naphtha, ammomum, and a kind 
of anthracite coal called gangitis. The chief animals are the gazelle, 
the wild ass, and the hon, which has greatly multiplied in the 
neglected wastes. Along the course of the Euphrates, the Arabian 
desert seems always to have encroached on Mesopotamia Proper, and 
its sands now occupy a large district on its left bank.* 

§ 5. Descending into the plain of Babylonia, we are in a part of 
the "rainless district;" and the rich alluvium depends for its fertility 
upon the rivers and canals. Babylonia, like Egypt, is " the gift of 
its rivers ;" which have inundations, but not with the periodic regu- 
larity of the Nile. Hence the waters require still more careful dis- 
tribution ; a work which engaged the best care of the ancient kings, 
and in a lesser degree of the Arab Caliphs ; but which has been totally 
neglected under the Turks. The waters of the Euphrates run to 
waste in the desert, forming pestilential swamps, and the canals are 
little cared for. In ancient times, besides innumerable cuts for irri- 
gation, there were three chief canals connecting the Tigris and 
Euphrates: the original "royal river" (Ar-Malcha of Berosus), in 
the line of the modem SaJdauxiyeh Canal, which falls into the Tigris 
at Bagdad ; the later " royal river " (Nahr Malcha of the Arabs), 
which fell into the Tigris at Seleucia ; and the Nahr Kutha, which 
joined the Tigris 20 miles lower. A smaller canal, the Pallacopasof 
Arrian, supplied the artificial lake of Borsippa, from which the land 
south-west of Babylon was irrigated. But the greatest of these works 

* Heoee Xenophon mentions a put ai Arabia as along the left bank ot th* 
Euphrates ; aad, at the present daj, the preralence of an Arab population, as 
troablesome as in (dd times, gires to the eoimtry roond Babylon the name of 


was the canal from the Euphrates at J?iY to the Persian Ghilf, passing 
along the line dividing the alluvium from the desert ; and, while 
regulating the inundation, preserving the fertility of a large extent 
of debateable land, on which the desert now encroaches even beyond 
the river. South of Babylon and Borsippa lies the great inland 
freshwater sea of Nedjef, 40 miles in length and 35 in width, and 
about 20 miles from the Euphrates. Part of the water of the river 
flows through it at the time of the inundation ; but it does not owe 
its origin to this cause : it is a permanent lake of considerable depth, 
surrounded by cliffs of a reddish sandstone, in places 40 feet high. 
Above and below this lake, from Birs-Nimrud to Ku/a, and from 
th^ south-eastern extremity of the lake to Sainava, extend the 
femous *' Ghald«an marshes," where Alexander was nearly lost : ^ 
but they are entirely distinct from the lake, depending on the state 
of the Eindiyeh canal, and disappearing when it is closed. 

The climate of this vast rainless plain, lying under a burning sun, 
and with an atmosphere moistened by the rivers and marshes, is 
intolerably hot in summer, but mild and pleasant in winter. The 
ancient writers celebrate its unsurpassed fertility ; and it is the only 
country where wheat is known to be indigenous. The native hid- 
UmaxL Bcrosus notices this production, and also the spontaneous 
growth of barley, sesame, ochrys, palms, apples, and many kinds of 
shelled fruit. Herodotus ^^ declares that grain commonly returned 
two hundredfold to the sower, and occasionally three hundredfold. 
Strabo^ makes nearly the same assertion, and Pliny *' says that the 
wheat was cut twice, and was afterwards good keep for beasts. The 
date-palm was one of the principal objects of cultivation. According 
to Strabo, it furnished the natives with bread, wine, vinegar, honey, 
porridge^ and ropes ; with a fuel equal to charcoal, and with a means 
of fattening cattle and sheep. A Persian poem celebrates its 360 
uses. Herodotus says that the whole of the flat country was planted 
with palms, aad Ammianus Marcellinus^^ observes that, from the 
point reached by Julian^ army to the shores of the Persian Gulf, 
there was one continuous forest of verdure. At present palms are 
almost confined to the vicinity of the rivers, and even there they do 
not grow thickly except about the villages, whose inhabitants, 
neglecting the rich virgin soil, subsist chiefly upon dates. 

The contrast between the ancient and present state of Babylonia 
IS thus described by a modem traveller : — ^ The wants of a teeming 
population were supplied by a rich soil, not less bountiful than that 
On the banks of the Egyptian Kile. Like islands rising from a 
golden sea of waving com, stood frequent groves of palm-trees and 
pleasant gardens, affording to the idler or traveller their grateful and 

M Stnbo, xTi. 1, § 12 ; Arriaa. ' AiMb.' riL 22. " Herod. L 193. 

» Strab. xyL 1. S U. " • Hi»L Nat.» xrlU. 17. " xxir. 3. 


highly valued shade. Crowds of passengers hurried along the dusty 
road to and from the busy city. The land was rich in com and 
wine. How changed is the aspect of that region at the present day ! 
Long lines of mounds, it is true, mark the courses of those main 
arteries which formerly diffused life and vegetation along their banks ; 
but their channels are now bereft of moisture and choked with 
drifted sand, the smaller offshoots are wholly effaced. All that 
remains of that ancient civilisation — that * glory of kingdoms,' 
* the praise of the whole earth ' — is recognisable in the numerous 
mouldering heaps of brick rubbish which overspread the surface of 
the plain. Instead of the luxuriant fields, the groves and gardens, 
nothing now meets the eye but an arid waste — ^the dense population 
of the former times has vanished, and no man dwells there." ** The 
soil is still rich, but more than half the country is left dry and waste 
from the want of a prop^ system of irrigation ; while the remaining 
half is to a great extent covered with marshes owing to the same 
neglect. Thus the prophecies, which to an ignorant reader might 
seem contradictory, are literally fulfilled :— " A drought is upon her 
waters, and they are dried up :" — " The sea is come up upon Babylon, 
and she is covered with the waves thereof." ^^ She is made " a pos- 
session for the bittern, and pools of water :" she is " wholly deso- 
late " — " the hindermost of the nations, a wilderness, a dry land, and 
a desert."" 

§ 6. This alluvial plain is entirely destitute of rocks and minerals, 
and yet it was the site of the earliest, and, among these, the one 
most famous, of the buildings of the post-diluvian world. "And it 
came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a 
plain in the land of Shinar ; and they dwelt there. And they said 
to one another. Go to, let us make hrichy and hum them thoroughly. 
And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And 
they said. Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may 
reach unto heaven ; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered 
abroad upon the face of the whole earth :" and then, in consequence 
of the confusion of their speech, " they left off to build the city." ** 
lliat this city of Bahel^ was the origin of the famous capital of the 

'* Loftns, *Cbald8Ba and Susiana/ pp. 14, 13. *« Jerem. 1. 38 ; li. 42. 

" Isaiah xiv. 12, 13, 23, 

IB Genesis xi. 2-4, 8. The common way of speaking^ only of the tower of Babel 
is apt to put out of sight the city and the name, which mark the real object of the 
scheme as the first attempt to found a gn^eat political power. (See further, on this 
point, the • Student's O. T. History,' chap. v. § 5.) 

1* Genesis xi. 9. The ChaldsBan priests of Bahylon preserred the tradition of 
the confusion of tongues, but they found an etymology for JBabel in their own 
tongue, Bdb-ilf i.e. tJie gate of H (the god whom the Greeks identified with EronoR 
or Saturn). Either etymology may have arisen from the other by the universal 
tendency for each race to find a meaning for a proper name in its own language. 
But, in the case before us, the Scripture etymology is so authotvta.t.vs^^ v^^ ^a 


same name, which the Greeks called Babylon, is now generally 

Respecting the tower, a curious testimony has been discovered. 
One of the most conspicuous mounds about the site of Babylon is 
that to which tradition has given the name of Birs-NimrM (the 
Citadd of Nimrod).^ The ruins covered by this mound are now 
certainly identified, by their inscriptions, with the temple of Bel- 
Merodach, built by Nebuchadnezzar at Borsippa, about seven miles 
south-west of Babylon, which Herodotus describes as the temple of 
Jupiter Belus. It consisted of a large substructure, a stade (600 
feet) in breadth, and 75 feet in height, over which were built seven 
other stages of 25 feet each.^ Among its ruins has been found an 
inscription, which M. Oppert explains as Nebuchadnezzar's own 
account of the building, or rather the rebuilding, of this " 2'emple of 
the Seven Lights of the Earth^ (the Stto, Moon, and planets). 
The inscription is well worth quoting entire, both for its historic 
value, and as a specimen of the style of similar documents : — 

•• Nabuchodonosob, king of Babylon, shepherd of peoples, who 
attests the immutable affection of Merodach, the mighty ruler-exalt- 
ing Nebo ; ^ the saviour ; the wise man, who lends his ears to the orders 
of the highest god ; the lieutenant without reproach, the repairer of 
the Pyramid and the Tower, eldest son of Nabopolassar, king of Baby- 
lon : — We say : — 

*• Merodach, the great master, has created me : he has imposed on 
me to reconstruct his building. Nebo, the guardian over the legions 
of the heaven and the earth, has charged my hands with the sceptre 
of justice. 

~ ** The Pyramid is the temple of the heaven and the earth, the seat 
of Merodach, the chief of the gods : the place of the oracles, the spot of 
his rest, I have adorned it in the form of a cupola with shining 

inseparably connected with the events recorded, that it seems safer to consider 
the Setnitie meaning the original, and the Chaldaie the adaptation. In this 
vie'w "we have an argument for the original Semitic population of the plain of 
Shinar. It is of the utmost importance to observe that JBabel and Babylon are 
distinctly local and not ethnic names. Babel does not occur in the ethnic 
table of Genesis x. ; and the Babylonians of history are simply the people whose 
capital was Babylon. The question of their true ethnic name will be considered 

^ The prefix BirSf which has no meaning in Arabic, is explained by the local 
name of Bouraa^ which points to the Semitic form seen in the Idumsean Bozrah and 
the Punic Byrsa (a citc^el).' It seems to retain the first syllable of the ancient 
name, Boraippaf in the Babylonian form Barsip or Barzipa^ which M. Oppert 
explains as ** Tower of Tongues." The Talmudists declare that the true site of the 
Tower of Babel was at Boraifi the Greek Borsippa. 

21 The general form of the Chaldaean temple towers is described below (see 
chap. xvi.). 

^ The king's name contains that of Nebo, his patron deity. 

«* This is the chapel, or shrine, on the top stage of the " tower," which is next 


** The Tower, the eternal houBe, which I founded and built,*^ I have 
completed its magnificence with silver, gold, other metals, stone, 
enamelled bricks, fir, and pine. 

'* The first, which is the house of the earth's base, {he most ancient 
monumerd of Babylon^ I built and finished it : I have highly exalted 
its head with bricks covered with copper * 

" We say for the other, that is, this edifice, the House of the Seven 
Lights of the Earth, Uie most ancient monument of Borsippa: — A 
former king hutlt it ( (hey reckon 42 ages\ hut he did not complete its 
head. Since a remote time people had abandoned it, without obdeb 
EXPRESSING their WORDS. Since that time the earthquake and the 
thunder had dispersed its sun-dried clay ; the bricks of the casing had 
been split ; and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heapa.^ 
Merodach, the great lord, excited my mind to repair this building. 
I did not change the site, nor did I take atoay the foundation-stone. In 
a fortunate month, an auspicious day,^ I undertook to build porticoes 
around the crude brick masses and the casing of burnt bricks. I put 
the inscription of my name in the Kitir of the porticoes. I set my 
hand to finish it, and to exalt its head. As it had been in former 
times,^ so I founded, I made it ; as it had been in ancient days, so I 
exalted its summit. 

" Nebo, son of himself, ruler who exaltest Merodach, be propitious 
to my works, to maintain my authority. Grant me a life until the 
remotest time, a sevenfold progeny, the stability of my throne, the 
victory of my sword, the pacification of foes,** the triumph over 
the lands ! In ihe columns of thy eternal table, that fixes the destinies 
of the heaven and earth, bless the course of my days, inscribe the 
fecundity of my race. 

** Imitate, O Merodach, king of heaven and earth, the father who 
begot thee : bless my buildings, strengthen my authority. May 
Nebuchadnezzar, the king repairer, remain before .thy face." 

If this inscription is properly translated, and if the tradition pre- 
served by the Chaldaean priests of Nebuchadnezzar's age was tme, 
the inference seems irresistible, that the Talmudists were right in 
placing the Tower of Babel at Borsippa, and, moreover, that the 
mins of Bir»-Nim,rud are on its original foundation. The distance 
of Borsippa from Babylon is no valid objection ; for Borsippa was a 
detached suburb of Babylon,^ the sacred seat of the priests ; and 

** This seems a proof that Nebachadnezzar rebuflt it from the old foandatioiL. 

ss This is expressly mentioned, as a mode of Babylonian building, by Fhilo« 
stratns (Apoll. Tyan. i. 25). ■ 

^ Here is the clearest allusion to the mode of building : successive stages of 
sun-dried bricks, round an earthem mound as core, and faced with highly burnt 
bricks : nor could any words describe more viTidly the exact state which the 
ruins again present after another 2000 years. 

*^ An allusion to the Chaldaean astrol(^y. 

^ That is, in design, for he has said that it was not finished. 

^ It seems that the Babylonian conqueror had the Roman idea of pacijleation. 

*" Mr. Layard has obserred that the name of Borsippa oocnn isv «:x«rs t&kc^svss^ 


a suburban citadel also, where Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, 
held out when the city was taken by Cyrus. If the objection has 
any force, it would incline us to claim Borsippa as the original site 
of the city of Babel ; which, like so many other great cities, may 
have been transferred to a neighbouring site."^ At all events, there 
is a great historic gap between the city of the Babel-builders and the 
capital of Babylon : — " They left off to build the city J" ^ 

§ 7. There is nothing in the Scripture narrative to prove the 
common assumption, that the Babel-builders were of the Hamite or 
Cushite race ; and to connect the building of Babel (in Genesis xi.) 
with the kingdom of Nimrod (in Genesis x.) is an arbitrary assump- 
tion, tending to confound events which were probably se))arated 
•by a wide interval. The former narrative rather seems to describe 
a migration of mankind from their primeval seats he/ore the dis- 
tinctions of race were clearly established:^ and this is one mode 
of accounting for the great mixture of races in that region from 
the earliest times." Iliat the prevalent race was originally Semitic, 
has been argued from the remarkable passage which gives us the 
first account of the establishment of a kingdom on the face of the 
earth; — "And Gush begat Nimrod: he first was a mighty one 
in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah. . . . And 
the beginning (or capital) of his kingdom was Babel^ and Erech^ and 
Accad, and Calnehy in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth 
AssHUR, and builded Nineveh^ and the city 'i?c^o6o^^, and Calahy 
and Reseny between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great 
city." 38 

Here we have the mention of two states, each forming a tetrapdis ; 

of Babylon on the inscriptions, from the earliest time to the latest. (* Asiatic 
Journal,' vol. xii. part ii. pp. 436, 437). 

•* A reason for the change may have been that the banks of the river "were not 
suited for a city till prepared by engineering works. We are not arguing that the 
change was actually made, but only suggesting it as an answer to the objection 
of distance. ** Genesis xi. 8. 

>> Compare Genesis xi. 1, 6, and 9. 

•* Berosua records the fact, which is proved by modern researches : — " There 
were at first at Babylon a great number of men of di£ferent races, who colonised 

85 Genesis x. 8-12. The passage is almost certainly an interpolation in the 
genealogical table of the sons of Noah. Besides the use of the name Jehovah 
(which, by the bye, is here only an intensive, as in Jonah iii. 3), the passage 
stands alone in the genealogy in its distinctly personal character ; it has no con- 
nection with what precedes and follows ; and the proverbial expression quoted in 
it seems to mark its fragmentacy character. - This later date would account for 
-the precedence given to Babylon and Nineveh in each tetrapolis, even if they were 
not the original capitals. That the terms "mighty one" and "very mighty 
hunter " refer, as Jewish tradition held (Joseph. * Ant.' i. 4, § 2), to a conqueror, if 
not an oppressor, seems the only adequate sense, and is confirmed by the mention 
of Nimrod's kingdom. The only other mention of Nimrod is in M Icah v. 6, where 
" the land of Nimrod " seems to be Babylonia, but may possibly be Assyria. (See 
the art. Nimbod in the * Diet.* of the Bible.') 


and enough is known of the other cities named (besides Babel and 
Nineveh) to place the one in Lower Babylonia, the other in Assyria 
Proper. The founder of the one was a Cushite king ; and the other 
is distinctly marked by the name of Asshur as Semitic, The latter 
was in some way the offshoot of the former : but how ? One theory 
is that Assbur tvent forth out of that land (Shinar), driven out by 
Nimrod, who certainly has all the appearance of a conqueror : in 
other words, that the original Semitic population of Shinar was 
overpowered and, in part at least, driven northwards by a Cushite 
conquest. Another view — based upon the translation in the margin 
of our version, " Out of that land he went out into Assyria " — makes 
Nimrod the founder of the Asnyrian as well as the Babylonian state. 
There oanj indeed, be little doubt that, in a very early period of 
history, Nineveh and the neighbouring cities were subject to a 
kingdom which had its seat in Babylonia ; and this accords with the 
tradition which makes Belus king of Nineveh before Ninus. But 
there is no evidence that the population of Assyria was ever other 
than Semitic ; and the prevalence of Semitic dialects throughout the 
whole of Mesopotamia shows what was its prevalent population. If 
the Cushite race, the presence of which is attested not only by what 
is said of Nimrod, but also by the Turanian element in the language 
of the earliest inscriptions of Babylonia, was really intrusive in that 
country, its entrance may be not improbably connected with the 
establishment of another great branch of the Hamite family in 
Egypt; and civilisation may have had a kindred origin, both in 
source and time, on the banks of the Nile and the Euphrates.^ 

§ 8. In the latter case, as in the former, we look for native tra- 
ditional records, and still more for contemporary monuments, of the 
first establishment of an organized political society. Of the tra- 
ditions, which in both countries were preserved by a learned sacer- 
dotal class, we find in Babylonia also a recorder such as the Egyptian 
Manetho. This was Berosub, a priest of Belus, at Babylon, in 
the reign of Antiochus II. (b.c. 261-246), who compiled, from the 
archives in the temple of the god, a " History of Babylon " or " Chal- 
daea." Of this work, as of Manetho's, we possess only some frag- 
ments, which have been preserved by Josephus, Polyhistor, &c., by 
Eusebius and the other chroniclers, and by the Christian fathers. 

** That the ruling race of Babylonia, in the earliest historic times, was Cushite, 
and connected with the Hamite impulations of Egjpt and Southern Arabia, is 
argued (I) From the Biblical genealogy : (2) From the resemblance between the 
cuneiform and hieroglyphic (or, more exactly, the hieratic) systems of writing : 
(3) From the language of some of the Babylonian inscriptions, of which the 
grammar\ seems ** Turanian," but the Tocabulary Hamite or ** Sub-Semitic : " (4) 
From the traditions of Babylonia and Assyria (and also some Greek traditions), 
which point to a connection of Babylonia with Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. (See 
Sir H. Rawlinson's < Essay YI. to Herod.' Book i. in p. 442.) 


ITieir value must be tried by the same standards which have been 
applied to Manetho — confirmation by contemporary records or monu- 
ments, and agreement with other historic testimony of proved 
authenticity.^ Berosus fomishes no such list of kings as Manetho ; 
but he gives us a compendious statement of the dynasties that had 
reigned in Babylonia. Like Manetho, he begins with a mythical 
period, but one^ far surpassing the Egyptian in the extravagance of 
itfl chronology, which is manifestly adapted to a conventional system 
of arithmetic From the destruction of Chaos by Bel, the god of 
light and air, to the Deluge, from which Xisuthrus was saved in an 
ark, he reckons 432,000 years.^ The only tradition of this period 
worth mentioning is that which ascribes the origin of civilization to 
Oannes,'* a being with the upper part of a man and the tail of a fish, 
who came up from the Indian Sea, and to six other similar fish- 
men — a tradition which, if worth anything, indicates the belief of 
the priests of Babylon that their civilization began on the shores of 
the Persian Gulf. 

From the Deluge of Xisuthrus to the capture of Babylon by Cyrus 
and the fall of the Babylonian empire, Berosus reckons Eight Dy- 
nastieSy which, though the numbers of years assigned to them are 
imperfect, were evidently intended to fill up the cycle of 10 sarsy or 
36,000 yearg. The First Dynasty is obviously mythical, consisting 
of 86 demigods, whom he calls ChaldceanSy and who reigned at 
Babylon for 34,080 years ; a number doubtless assigned so as to 
complete, with the length of the period which Berosus regarded as 
historical, the above total of 36,000 years. Thus the so-called his- 
torical period would consist of 1920 years ; and, reckoning backwards 
from the fall of Babylon, it would begin in B.C. 2458. Using this 
computation to supply some of the missing figures. Dr. Gutschmidt 
has framed the following scheme of the Dynasties of Berosus ^ : — 

'^ Among the classical writers, besides Herodotus, whose early accounts, both 
of Babylonia and Assyria, are manifestly fabulous, the only authority of any great 
weight is Ctesias, of Cnidus in Caria, who was physician to Artaxerxes II. 
Mnemon, and was with him during his war against his brother Cyrus the Younger 
(B.C. 401), aind wrote a history of Persia in 23 books. His statements are gene- 
rally at variance both with Herodotus and Berosus. The tendency of cuneiform 
discovery, thus far, has been to confirm Berosus rather than Ctesias. The tradi- 
tions followed by the Greek writers represent the continuous existence, from the 
earliest times, of an Assyrian empire, to which Babylonia was subject till its com- 
paratively late revolt. The error of this will be seen as we proceed. 

^ That is, 120 sars of 3600 years each, in the Babylonian system of computation 
(see below, chap. xvii.). 

3^ As to the deity represented by the name Cannes, see chap. xvii. 

^^ The years of the 7th and 8th dynasties are from the Canon of Eusebius, &c. 
The 258 years of the 3rd Dynasty are obtained ftom the total. See Notes and 
Illustrations — (A). Early Babylonian Chronology. 


Mimical, B.C. B.a 

86 Chaldeans Si,OSO ,..!.. 

HiOorieaL f 

IL ' 8 ' 3f ede« [MagiaDa] .. 224 2458*2234 

nL 11 [Chaldaans] .. .. [258] ' 2234 1976 

lY. I 45 Chaldxans 458 > 1976 ' 1518 

v. i 9 Arabians 245 . 1518 ' 1273 

VI. , 45 Aabymna 526 1273 . 747 

Vn. ' 8 AasTTiana [122] 747 625 

Till. 6 ChakUeaiu 87 625 538 


! f Total .. .. 36,000 i .. ( 

f 9. The first five o( these dynasties repieseDt a period Tespectmg 
which our infonnation is very scanty and doabtful, in spite of the 
light recently acqoired from the inscriptions j^hnnwA from the 
moonds that cover the rained cities o( Bahy Ionia. Those juins are 
heliered to be the monoments of that passion for great hoildingi 
which characterized the race of Ham ; and which, while rainng the 
everlasting stones of the pyramids in £^ypt, fbond materials for 
edifices of a similar type even in the allnyial plain of ChaldaBa.^ 
** They had brick for sfc^ne, and slime had they for mortar J* The 
aigillaceoos plain supplied the material for bricks^ whidi the fieioe 
son hardened sufficiently for the construction of the massive stagjet 
of the towers and walls of the palaces, while, for the protection of 
the outer surfaces, they ** burnt them throughly.''^ It is disputed 
whether the " slime " means the tenacious mud, or the bitumai 
which is one of the most characteristic mineral products of Chaldasa; 
but the existing ruins shew that both were used for cemenL 

The objects found in the ruins prove a knowledge of the art of 
working metals for ornament as well as use, and of pottery, which is 
used not only for drinking-vessels, ornamental vases, and lamps, bat 
also for coffins ; and there are articles of foreign importation which 
seem to indicate a conmierce by way of the Persian Gulf. Of their 
textile fabrics, the only remains are some fragments of linen adhering 
to the skeletons in the tombs, and the tasseUed cushions on which 
their heads are laid ; but the delicately striped and fringed dresses 
shewn on the most ancient signet-cylinders remind us of the ** goodly 

41 The shnflaritT of tjpe, of wlueh we bare to ipeak bdow, is aa ituiet for 
the cognate origia of tiie raeca that baiUtiie Efyptiaa pjramifda and tiie Ghaldcaa 
tcaiple-toven. ^ Geacais xL %. 


Babylonish garments " which were imported into Canaan before its 
conquest by the Israelites.^ The whole structure of the towers, 
and their emplacement towards the four quarters of the compass, 
can only be explained on the supposition that they had from the 
first that connection with astronomy which is distinctly affirmed, in 
Nebuchadnezzar's inscription, of the later towers raised on the same 
model. This implies the beginning of that astronomical science 
for which the Chaldaean priests of Babylonia were always famous, 
favoured by their cloudless sky and unbroken horizon, and moved to 
its cultivation by their religious system — the so-called " Sabsean " 
worship of the heavenly bodies. Last but not least among these 
proofs of civilization, the characters impressed upon the bricks, and 
upon the tablets and signet-cylinders found in the ruins, attest the 
knowledge of the art of writing. And these contemporary inscrip- 
tions, though comparatively few, furnish monumental testimony con- 
cerning this early age, which is in some cases confirmed by the records 
of later kings, representing, of course, only the traditions of their time. 
§ 10. The names of the earliest cities of Babylonia are recorded in 
the Scriptural notice of Nimrod. .Of the cities forming the southern 
tetrapolis (besides Babel), Erech and Calneh seem to be the Euruk 
and Nipur of the cuneiform inscriptions, which are identified almost 
certainly with the ruins at Warka and Niffer : Accad seems rather 
to be the name of a region than a city, and is sometimes used like 
the general name of the kingdom.** The testimony found in the 
ruins seems, however, to indicate the existence of two tetrapoleis, 
corresponding to the twofold division of the Babylonian plain already 
mentioned — the upper, consisting of Babel, Borsippa, Cutba (now 
Ibrahim, N.E. of Babylon), and Sippara (the Sepharvaim ** of Scrip- 
ture, now Sura, on the Euphrates, 20 miles above Babylon) ; the 
lower comprising (besides Erech ond Calneh) Larsa or Larancha 
(the Ellasar of Scripture,*^ and now Senkereh), and Hur (now called 
Mugheir, i.e. the mother of hitumen, from the vast quantity of 
bituminous cement found in its ruins). Each of the cities was under 
the special tutelage of one of the heavenly bodies : the Sun was 
worshipped at Larsa, the Moon at Hur ; Bel (^Bilu-Nipru) and his 
consort Beltis (or Mylitta) at Calneh *^ and Erech ; Bel-Merodach 

*^ Joshua vii. 12. 

** (See below, § 12). We read in the inscriptions of Sargon, b.c. 720, seq. of the 
removal of Accadian colonies from Babylonia to Armenia. v 

^ The dual form denotes its position on both sides of the river. 

*® In Gen. xiv. 1, it is the capital of Arioch, one of the allies of Chedorlaomer. 

^^ The name of this city is said to mean " the fort of the god Anu." Its name 
of Nopher in the Talmud agrees -with the modem Niffer^ iirhich Arab tradition 
makes the site of the original Babylon, and also the place whence Nimrod endea- 
voured to mount on eagle's wings to heaven. The LXX. (Is. x. 9) make Calneh 
the seat of the tower of Babel. See farther on the Babylonian Religion, in 
chap. xvii. 


and his consort ^»i«iit at Babylon ; the Sun at Sippara ; Kergal at 
Cotha ; and so forth. The superior andqnity of the dties of the 
aouthem tetrapolis (excepting of coarse the original Babel) has been 
inferred from the more ancient type of their mined temple-towen, 
and from the character of their inscriptions. 

§ IL This seems, at first sight, to be a somewhat startling con- 
tradiction to the testimony of Scripture concerning the baikiing of 
BabeL Bat this appearance of discrepancy rests solely on the im- 
probable assomption of continoity in the political existence of the 
orypnal BabeL When we are expressly told, not only that ^ ihej 
left off to boild the city," bat also that they were ** scattered 
abroad upon the face of the whole earth/ ^ — what state coald sorriTa 
such a catastrophe? Xot is it unreasonable to suppose that a 
aeoondary agency was employed in this ''scattering abroad;** and 
tiie conquering race, who would be the a p propriate instruments of 
wfkdb. a work, may Tery possibly be represented by the Second or 
Median Dynasty of Berosas. The tradition preserred by that hia- 
torian, that 2iOroaster reigned as a conqueror at Babylon, seems to 
indicate an early stage of the great conflict between the elemental 
worship, which in the historic age characterized the Median M agiana, 
and the Sabeeism which seems to hare had its origin in Babylonia ; 
and the zeal always shown by the former against the latter may 
hare been one agent in the overthrow of the original BabeL It 
does not ^liow from the name of " Median" that these conquerors 
were of the Aryan race, to which the latter Medes undoubtedly 
belonged ; for at a Tery early period, Scythian hordes orerran the 
table-land of Asia; and the Tery name of Media seems to be a 
Tnranian word, signif}dng the country, Besdes, elemental worship 
aeems to have im^n^XeH with the Turanians. On the other hand, 
there is dear eridence of an Aryan element in the early population 
of Babylonia; and the most recent philological enquiries tend to 
an approximation between the Turanian and Aryan dialects. In 
the absence of clearer tests and better information, the safest con- 
tusion seems to be that the country was conquoed by a mixed 
Scytho-Aryan race, who were called ^ Medians" in the old tiadi- 
tions of Babylonia, simj^y because they came from Iran* Obecme 
as \% the part played by this race in the rerolutions of Babylonia, 
it has left there the most durable monument of its power, at least 
if some of the best authorities are right in beliering that cimeiform 
writing originated with the Turanians. 

§ 12. The reoorery of dominion in the country by a natiTe race, 
and ihe final preralenoe of Sabansm orer the Magian demental 
woohip, appears to be represented by the Third Dyna$iy fA^aoeoM ;' 

* Gen. xL 8, t. 

«• B »p t*t iaa ito ekronologkal foifi H fnff witk tte tnditiowd i»*flt«««it of 
the A«rro-B«ibyioBiaa kiagdoB, wte HcHn nd UlwCratiMn {K\. 


to which (and the succeeding dynasty) alone can we refer the 
most ancient monuments of the Babylonian cities. The names of 
those cities connect them, on the other hand, with the monarchy 
of the Cushite Nimrod, whose own name seems to be preserved in 
thfi title of BilvrNipru, the god of the chace, and in that of the 
city of Nipru (Calneh, now Niffer, S.E. of Babylon), which was 
the special seat of the worship of that deity. ^ 

The seat of this Cushite monarchy — the first which its monu- 
ments enable us to regard as properly historical — ^is placed by those 
monuments (as we have seen) in the southern tetrapolis of Baby- 
lonia. In that quarter, also, the oldest traditions me^e civilization 
enter from the sea. Accordingly the city, which the oldest extant 
inscriptions seem to mark as the capital, was Ev/r (now Mugheir\ 
the furthest to the south of all the cities of Chaldaea. Its site (a 
little below 31° N. latitude) was no doubt originally on the shore 
of the Persian Gulf; and its ships are mentioned in connection with 
those of Ethiopia, It was, in later times, the greater southern 
seat, as Borsippa was the northern, of the sacred learning of the 

The bricks of the basement story** of the chief temple-towers in 
the southern tetrapolis are stamped with the name of Ubukh, or 
Urkham,** who is described as "King of Hur and Kingi-Accad;""* 
and his seal-blinder is engraved with figures showing considerable 

*• This city seems to be the BtXjBij of Ptolemy. The etymological connection of 
Nimrod and NiprUf by the usual interchange of the labials m and p before r, is 
obrious. Sir H. Rawlinson finds the root-meaning in the Syriac napar (to puratte) ; 
and a two*fold light is thrown on Nimrod's own character, as a " hunter " and as 
the hero-eponymus of the Babylonians, by inscriptions of more than one Assyrian 
king, who are described as " hunting (or pursuing) the people of Bilu-Nipru " 
(Rawlinson, * Essay X. to Herod. Book I.' p. 597). It is to be observed that 
Nimrod need not be absolutely taken as a person in Gen. x., where ajExncer may be 
described by the name of the national divine hero. An Arab tradition identifies 
Nimrod with the constellation of the " giant " {El Ojanza) which we call, after 
the Greeks, Orion, 

»* Though Hur appears, in eitant inscriptions, as the seat of the worship of the 
Moon {Sin or Hurki) , there is evidence of a more ancient worship of Anu^ the 
supreme god of the Babylonians and Assyrians. The traditions mentioned above 
would seem rather to point to Calneh {Nipru) as the capital ; but, in all pro- 
bability, the four cities were originally independent, and dominated over one 
another in turn. The opinion that Hur was the Ur-Chasdimt or Ur of the 
ChaldeeSf of Scripture, whence the family of Terah and Abraham migrated (which 
cannot be fully discussed here) is noticed incidentally below (§17, note). 

" The upper storeys are stamped with other names, some well known and of a 
late period ;— a proof of the higher antiquity of the names below. 

*■ His name (which is interpreted " light of the sun ") seems to have been pre- 
served by a tradition which turns up, curiously enough, as late as the time of 
Ovid, who, in the fable of Clytia and Leucothea, mentions Orchamus as the seventh 
in succession ftom Belus ('Metam.'iv. 212, |213). It is almost superfluous to 
remark that the classical Belus is only the mythical impersonation of Bel^ and 
the hero-eponymus of Babylon. 

^ This seems to be the territorial designation of the Hamiteo of ChaldoMi. 


art.*' His temples are dedicated to Belus and Beltis, and to the 
Sun and Moon. His son Ilgi is recorded as the finisher of some 
of his father's buildings at Hur, particularly the temple of the 
moon-goddess (Sin), These inscriptions, in a rough, bold cba- 
racter, on the buildings whose rude workmanship and sun-dried 
bricks, with the absence of lime-mortar, show them to be the oldest 
in the Babylonian plain, remind us of the quarry-marks of Khufu 
and Nu-Khufu on their far more perfect pyramid. The contrast 
not only marks the vast superiority of the earliest architecture of 
Egypt to that of Chaldsea, but it reminds us of the want, in the 
latter case, of those treasures of information which are preserved in 
the pictures of the Memphian tombs. 

§ 13. The next names on the monuments, in point of antiquity, 
are those oi Kudur-mabuk (or Kudur-mapuld) and his father, ^Vn^i- 
shU'Khakf in which the highest authorities recognise an Elymcsan 
character.** Kudur-mabuk is designated by the title of " Kavager 
of the West" (Apda Martu), Now Berosus marks a distinction 
between the Third Dynasty of 11 kings and the Fourth of 49 ; and 
the earliest Biblical record of a conquering king (at least after 
Nimrod) is that of CJiedorlaomer, king oi Elam^ who— with his 
three associate kings, Amraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of 
Ellasar, and Tidal, king of nations — made an -expedition against 
the cities of Canaan on the Dead Sea, over which he had already 
ruled for twelve years, and defeated them and the neighbouring 
Amalekites and Amorites, but was overtaken and defeated on his 
march home by Abraham and his Amorite allies, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Damascus.** The Scripture narrative clearly shows 
that, as early as the 19th century B.C., a king, who was at the head 
of a confederacy of several states (large or small), with its seat in 
the lower valley of the Euphrates, made conquests to the west of 

^* It is now unfortunately lost, but Sir R. E. Porter, who had it, has left an 
engraving of it in his ' Travels,' which is copied in Rawlinson's * Five Monarchies,' 
vol. i. p. 118 (first edition). 

^ This element is seen in the prefix Kudttr and in the termination Khakt which 
appears again on the bricks of Susa in the name Tirkhak^ the identity of which 
with the name of the celebrated Ethiopian Tirhakah confirms the Cushite nation- 
ality. Ak is said by Josephus to mean king in the sacred language of Egypt, and 
the same element survives in the Turkish Khakan. Several other names on the 
Chaldsean monuments, of forms clearly Turanian, are also found on those of 
Susiana. Besides these points of agreement, the characters of the Susianian 
inscriptions bear a close resemblance to the hieratic writing of Babylonia. On the 
state of Susiana at this period, see Sir H. Rawlinson, * Essay YI.' Ac, p. 448. 

»' This name, given in the Septuagint version in the form Chodollogomor^ \» 
explained by Sir H. Rawlinson as Kiidur-lagamer^ i.e. tJie servant of Lagameri a 
deity of Elam or Susiana. Sir Henry at first identified Chedorlaomer with Xhudur^ 
mapula ; but he now regards the former as the original Susianian conqueror who 
established his dominion over Babylonia, and the latter as a descendant, of far 
inferior consequence. The date of the 4th dynasty of Berosus agrees admirably 
with the received date of Abraham. (See Prof. Kawlinson's * Five Great Monar- 
chies,' vol. i. p. 206.) M Genesis xiv. 1-16. 


timi Hvor, om far m the banks of the Jordan, but was finally re- 
pulNod. Mwif the kingdom of Ohedorlaomer, has but one mean- 
ing, the cawuiry beyond the Tigris, to the east of the Babylonian 
plnln, whioli wtui [Hxiphid in the earliest times by a Cushite race. 
t^hinar^ iho kln^^dom of Amraphol, is Babylonia itself, especially in 
tho imrrowor sense ; and the people of Amraphel may have been 
thti original H<unitio population, whose chief seat was Babylon. The 
ni^nio of Ariochf kitip; of Kllosar, seems to point to the Aryan ele- 
ment, of whoso ])rosenco in Babylonia we have other evidence. 
Th« "nations*' which owned Tidal for their king were most pro- 
bably the Scythian nomad tribes, whom tradition represents as 
Iproadinft over all Western Asia in the earliest times, and whose 
lnfiut»noo liRH btMJti (raced in the Turanian element of the old Baby- 
lonian language. Such a combination of the four great races, 
Hiittiitio, Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian, is confirmed by the name 
of Kiprnth^trfiat (four tongues or nations), given to the people of 
Ikbyh^da in the ouueiform inscriptions. The mixture lasted (with 
tlio usual change of the merging of the Hamitio element in the 
S<»ndtio) umier all the sucotHKiing empires, so that the Medo- 
lVr«lan kinga found it neooaaary to publish their edicts in three 
dUtinot Unguag<M: tlioir own, which was Aryan; the Assyrian, 
whioh was 8t>mitio; and the Scythian or Turanian.* From all 
tliia \\*i!» nmy draw the conclusion that, about the time of Abraham, a 
Wi»\v li«t» of oonquorv^rs — but still, like the former dynasty, of Cushite 
faot>— Imw^mhI the I'igria fnnn Klam into Babylonia, and pushed on 
acnv^ tlK* Ku|>hmUNSi to the K'lnks of the Jordan, where, however, 
i\mt v\mqu<>i»l9 wtwre but tenijHMmry.** 

$ 14^ *rhi^ «xtt«ii!!aim of the Babylonian dominion ov^r Assyria 
b*d ^v^^l^aWy bwn t^iOfwhxl under the jv^^vious dynasty:* but we 
hav^ di^^lincl evidt^uci? of that dominion about the middW i>f the 
liUh wututy iui\, wudi^r fsmi^IXi^om (i.e, Dayon hears kim\ whoge 
»v^i^ ^ri«««Ns«m (or ^<viimi;^ Tm?). is named, in a celel»at«d in- 
»m|^KH\ v^'' Ti^aih^i>il«?ts«r I., as th« builder of the tempW oif ^»ii 
at ir#WUWW*5H^I. ^^ the l>li« Tijris^ 701 years Uflw the temple 
>K«» v^^^liiM^ bty lh« Ass^nriau king.** ^SiUiwaWfu ap(i«ars to hare 

^MMt $« ^ <^>lra t>tt«Hba blK(«li^<l^ la iW StncEtsf Ar^^Kw attl i& ilfait Jurpia 
4S««r t^^^^ iKfiliW^ ^ «ty«iRftqrx DmII^ tetttf DSI^ » oMYvminu ^if (Mi:oa£»fi>m^ ^tr^ 


been a viceroy of Assyria,"* while another son of Ismi-Dagon (read 
doubtfully Ihil-anu-duma) is styled " governor of Hur.** The latter 
built the public cemeteries, which are the most conspicuous, and the 
most remarkable for their construction, of the ruins at Mugheir, 
Nipru (Calneh, now Niffer), the city of Bel-Nipruf^ and appa- 
rently the capital of the northern tetrapolis of Babylonia, is men- 
tioned in the titles of Ismi-Dagon. But the first king of whom 
records have been found at Babylon itself is Naram-sin^ whose 
name is inscribed on an alabaster vase,** and who is named in an 
inscription of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, as the builder 
of the great temple at Sippara j(Sepharvaim, now Mosaib\ another 
city of the northern tetrapolis, which Berosus makes the place 
where Xisuthrus (on the eve of the Deluge) hid the tables con- 
taining the sacred law.^ These memorials tend to show that the 
Beat of power had been transferred to the northern tetrapolis about 
the middle of the 18th century B.C. The earliest use of the title of 
"King of Babylon" is by Meroddch-namana (but the reading is 
doubtful), on the bricks of a pavement at the great Bowarieh 
mound at Warka (the ancient Erech), which contains the ruins of 
the temple built by Urukh to Beltis. From the titles of Sin-shada, 
on the upper bricks of the same temple, it appears that Erech was 
the capital of Lowef Babylonia about B.C. 1700. Among several 
other kings, whose names are compounds of Sin (the Moon), Tur- 
sin is distinguished as the founder of a remarkable city of unknown 
name, the ruins of which are now called Ahu-Sharein, Furna- 
puriyas repaired Urukh*s temple of the Sun at Senkereh (Larsa) ; 
and his son, Durri-galazu (or Kouri-gahu), built a fortress on the 
Assyrian frontier (^Hisr-Durrigcdazu), which is mentioned long 
after on an inscription of Sargon, and the site of which is marked 
by the great ruins of the Tel-Nimrud, at Akkerku/,^ N.W. of 
Bagdad : while his very name is still preserved by the ruined 
city of Zergul, near the confluence of the Shat-el-Hie with the' 
Euphrates. The close of this important dynasty seems to be 
marked by Khammarubi and his son Shamsi-luna, many of whose 
clay tablets have been found at TeUSifr and Babylon.*® Tlie 

** Sir Henry Bawlinson observes that Assyria seems at this time to haye been 
weak and insignificant, administered ordinarily by Babylonian satraps, whose 
office was one of no great rank or dignity. The titles of three or four of them, on a 
tablet discovered at KHeh-SJierghat^ belong to the most homble class of dignities. 
The name of Assyria never once occurs on the old Babylonian monuments. 

«* See above, p. 208, note 50. 

** Some authorities hold this inscription to be one of the most ancient in 

M Another reading ascribes this to Sagaraktiyas, the father of Naram-«in. 

•' The ruins themselves are of the Parthian period. 

« There is also in the British Museum a stone tablet, said to have been brought 
from Babylon, engraved with the name and titles of Khammarubi. 


former was conspicuous for the greatness of bis works. Besides 
repairing the temple of the Sun at Senkerehy and building a palace 
at Kalwadha,^ near Bagdad, it has been recently discovered that 
Khammarubi was the constructor of the Old Royal Canal, or 
Caruil cf Khammarubi, as he calls it in an inscription, which 
records how he carried the waters to the desert plains and dry 
ditches, and gathered the people of Sumir and Accad (the two chief 
races in Babylonia) into cities. A tablet in the British Museum has 
the names of twenty-two kings after Khammarubi ; and the whole 
number of royal names discovered is nearly 50, a near correspondence 
with the 60 kings of the Third and Fourth Dynasties of Berosus. 

§ 15. The end of the latter dynasty, a little before b.c. 1500, 
according to the chronological scheme given above, corresponds very 
nearly with the most probable epoch of the expulsion of the Shep- 
herds from Egypt and the beginning of the Asiatic conquests of the 
Egyptian kings of the XVIIIth dynasty. We have seen that 
those conquests extended into Mesopotamia and Assyria, and that 
both Nineveh and Babylon paid tribute to the Pharaohs. We have 
also seen that the Upper country, at least, was held by a number of 
tribes, comprised under the general name of Rotennou, each ruled 
by the king of its chief city, who again and again made submission 
to Egypt. All this indicates that Assyria had become independent 
of the southern kingdom, but was not yet organized into a kingdom 
of her own, and that the southern kingdom itself had correspond- 
ingly declined. Now it is just during this period of Egyptian 
supremacy in Western Asia, from the conquests of Thothmes I. to 
the last victories of Barneses III., that Berosus represents 9 
"Arabian" kings as ruling at Babylon for 245 years.^® This indi- 
cates the overthrow of the old "Chaldaean" monarchy by a new 
Semitic conquest or revolution ; but whether the new rulers were 
the kings of an organized state ; or tribes that poured over the land 
as the sands of the desert encroach beyond the boundary of the 
Euphrates ; or the Semitic population of Babylonia itself, shaking 
off the yoke of their masters ; and whether the change was con- 
nected with the Egyptian conquests as cause or as effect — all these 
are questions awaiting solution. 

The theory, that these "Arabians*' represent the growing power 
of the Hittites, anticipates the epoch of that power, and seems con- 
tradicted by the Egyptian monuments, which never place the 
Kheta, but always the Botennou, in Mesopotamia. A more 

** This, the traditional city of Hermes, is interesting both as the source Arom 
which some writers have traced the name of Chaldcean^ and as the spot where the 
ark of the covenant was believed to have been buried during the Babylonian 
captivity of the Jews. (See Sir H. Rawlinson, * Essay VI.* &c., p. 440, note.) 

70 The number of kings js scarcely adequate to the number of years, unless they 
indicate the supremacy of tribes. 


plausible opinion connects them with a great wave of Semitio 
pressure towards the East, set in motion by the expulsion of the 
Shepherds from Egypt, A curious tradition is preserved in a book 
on " Nabathaean Agriculture," written at Babylon about the begin- 
ning of the Christian era, and translated into Arabic in the 10th 
century, that a dynasty of Canaanite kings succeeded, after long 
conflicts, in supplanting the Chaldaean dynasty in Babylonia. The 
chronographer, George Syncellus, gives the names of six kings of 
the Arab dynasty; but it is remarkable that their forms are dis- 
tinctly Babylonian. One of them, Nahius, may be identified with 
Ncbbou^ which is stamped on the bricks both of Erech and of 
Babylon.^ The end of this Arab dynasty appears to be connected 
with that great uprising of Mesopotamia which led to the campaigns 
of Barneses III. It was followed by the establishment of an inde- 
pendent kingdom at Nineveh, beside which that of Babylon con- 
tinued for about six centuries and a half, sometimes in subjection, 
and oftener at war, till she recovered the supremacy under the new 
Chaldasan dynasty of Nabopolassar. 

§ 16. Throughout this summary of the earliest history of Baby- 
lonia, we have been careful to avoid, as far as possible, the use of 
the words Chaldoea and CJialdcean, except in the strictly geogra- 
phical sense attached to them by the classical writers. Recent 
writers,^* chiefly on the authority of Berosus, speak of the early 
Babylonian kingdom as the Chaldaean Monarchy, just as if the 
name were indisputably a native one. But the fact is, that the 
word is neither used in any original history nor in any contempo- 
rary inscription. In Scripture, the land is ShinaVy and neither 
Nimrod nor Chedorlaomer is called a Chdldcean (either in that form, 

^^ Two others of these names are Merodeteh and Bel^ the tutelary deities of 
Bahylon and Borsippa ; and the position of the whole six, in immediate succession 
to the seven primitive Chaldeeans, seems to break their connection with the 
Arabian dynasty of Berosus. 

" Especially Professor Rawlinson, in the First Book of his * Plve Great Monar- 
chies of the Ancient Eastern World.* The phrase in the text is not meant to 
imply that Berosus is the only authority for this use of the word. But the other 
arguments cannot be considered as more than confirmatory; and the chief of 
them — the mention in Scripture of " Ur of the Chaldees " — is, to a great extent, a 
petitio principii : rather amusingly so when (for instance) it is said that " Cfat*- 
dim has been derived from Chesed, the son of Nahor (Gen. xxii. 22) ; but, if Ur 
was airettdy a city of the Casdim before Abraham quitted itj the name of Casdim 
eannot possibly have been derived from his nephew." (* Diet, of Bible,* s. y.) 
Not to stand upon the previous question, concerning the correctness of the ren- 
dering of " Ur Chasdim *' by Ur of the Chaldees^ we must remember that it it 
merely a translation, and that the identification of the names rests therefore on 
the authority of the LXX. ; so that the question is — " What did they understand 
by the Chaldees ? " Unless both Ur and Chaldcea could be shown to have a single 
and definite sense (the contrary of which is the fact), and unless it could be proved 
that the people of Babylonia were Chasdim^ the disUnctive epithet Chasdim might 
be an argument as much against, as for, the Ur on the Euphrates. M. Oppert 
maintains that Ur-Chasdim is simply the Babylonian for "land of the Two 
Bivers ** = Mesopotamia. In tbe three passages of SS., where alonft \i qiwqx%^^\ 

214 PBIUmVE-ElNODOMS. Book U. 

or in the Hebrew form of Chatdim). Ae h> the inaoriptions, let da 
heat one of the highest authorities in cuneiform literature i — 

" It is particvlaHy worthy if Temark that, throughout the series of 
l^ends" (i.e. Vtweripiions, not /aWes) "which remain to us of the 
kings of Hwr and Acead, the name qf Chald«a neiwr onee oecuri 
in a tingU seritenca. It would be faazardous to assert, on the 
strength of this negative evidence, that the ChaldieaoB bad no 
existence io the country during the age in question ; but thus much 
is certain, that they could not have been the dominant race at the 
time, and that Beroeus therefore, in nanjing the dynasty Chaidfran 
must have uaed that tt;rm in a geographical, rather than in an 
ahndogicai, senBB. The name of Kaldai (or Eaidi) for the ruling 
tribes on the Lower Euphrates, is first met with in the Assyrian 
inscriptions which date from the early part of the 9th century B.C."" 

This mention of the name, however, is valuable ss shewing that 
it was a distinctive appellation of Lower Mesopotamia Itmg before 
its well-known use under the later Babylonian empire; and the 
continuity of the reltgiona system, then known as Chaldcean, with 
that represented by the earUest temple-towera is an argument for 
the continuity of the name *n thu conaecfum. Who the Chaldteans 
vere, and whence thej derived their origin, will be best considered 
when their name appears unmistakably in history." 

I ■ cUy (Gen. li. 39 ; it. 7 ; Kehfm. ix. I). 
rBpre«iittdlir"thBlo«io/(*iiCli»ldMB" in 
AcU Tli. 4 ; ud la Gen. it. 7 it is coDtruled with the land giTen tiy God to 
Abrahsm ; «nd II li neTer culled oijireMly > eilg. 

" Bit B. C. ItawliiuoD, 'Appendii to Herod.' Bool I,, Esn]' TI.. In Prof. 
Bi«lin»n'a 'Herodotoi,' Tol. i. p. U». See Not« ud Illutnitioni (B). 

" The Hebrew Cluudim, irhich tbe LXX, and (oUswlng tnniliUn render 
CSkdUiH ud CAoMoKnu, neTec accuTt beCore the time of the letet Babylonian 
emiiin— Hben it ii oonMutly applied to ths king and people, h well u (n the 
learned elata (aa In i)an«J)— *i«pt in one paMage, where the " buid> of Cluudim •• 
Join the "Saiaani" in hanging tke propertr of Job [Job L 15.17). Thia 
pauagc i> a good proof that the name denotes a Iribt. ud sot merely a elan ; but . 
Uie Rene of the book of Jab ia not eertaio enongh U> gire n arenmeai for tbe 
locality of ttaii tribe. Hu queatlon is Terr maoh that of Ur orer tfxixi. 


It mnirt not b« asppo«d thU the ' "^"^ "" "W ■"»« *o the astrono- 

date of I.e. J4S8 (giien at p. 101} Is to "'™' oompotntioni wbloh we know to 

be taken as an aaoertained chronological l"™ '*"' kept bj the Chaldsu prieati 

epoch ; bat it li deeinble lo show the °'°''> ™°" perfectly than by tli* 

renilte which wonld he obtained by . EgypliaB*. Bnt there cu be Utile 

ueepling the syrtem of Berosns, which I *™" U"'. in '"'1' "«». te alleged 

aueptanoa can only be made when , obserrations are dinply compatsHoiu 

they are conBnmd, as in the 7lh ud , hBckwardi according (o an artiBcial 

Bth (and to tame eitent in tbe «th) •yrtem. The aUtement that Callittbenea, 

dyoastia by poaitiTS historical infbr- | ■>>» tOMinpanied AlEuoder to Baby- 

Chap, X, 



Ion, was able to send thence to Aris- 
totle a series of astronomical observa- 
tions taken by the Chaldseans for an 
unbroken period of ld03 years, rests on 
a false reading r the true reading, 3 1 ,000 
years, proves the artificial nature of the 

Sir Henry Rawlinson gives other 
computations of the traditional date 
of the Chaldaean kingdom, f 

Greek Era of Phoroneusi 

(see Clinton, • F, H,,' Vb-c. 1753. 

vol. i. p. 139) I 

Observations at Babylon) 

before that time accord- > 480 

ing to Berosus ) 

B.C. 2233^ 

Age of Semiramis, or date ] 

of siege of Troy (accord- >b.c. 1229 

ing to Hellanicus) ... I 
Babylon built before that { 

vipte ... ... ... ... 1 


B.C. 2231§ 

Era of Ariphron at Athens b.c. 826 
Duration of Assyrian I ..^^ 

>•• *•< 

monarchy ... 

Deduct reign of Belus 


B.C. 22S1 

It will be observed that these num- 
bers lead up to the beginning of the 
Third Dynasty of Berosus, the first of 
the two which he calls "Chaldeean," 
i.e. native dynasties of Babylonia, to 
the exclusion of his " Median " dynasty. 
The probable reasons for considering 
the overthrow of the last-named 
dynasty, or rather domination, as the 
proper beginning of the earliest Baby- 
lonian kingdom are given in the 
text (p. 209). 

Another remarkable sequence of 
numbers |1 leads up to the accession of 

• Sinplicitu. ' Ad Ailstot de Cioalo,* IL p. 128. 
See Oppert, ' HiBtoire de Ohaldde et d'Aasyrie,' 
p. 7. 

t For the details see Sir H. BawUxuon, ' Enay 
VT. to Herod. L.' p. 4S4. 

t SeeFlin. 'H. N.'viL66. 

$ Steph. Btz. s. t. BaPvK<ov. 

II See Sir U. Bawliaaon, 'Eaeaj YV p. 4SS. 


years before 

one of the Kings named on the very 
early inscriptions, by putting together 
the data furnished by the inscriptions 
of ceilain Assyrian kings : the sum- 
mary being as follows : — 

Date of Bavian in-"^ 

scription (10th year >b.c. 

of Sennacherib ... J 
Defeat of Tiglath-") 

pileser I. by M ero- 

dach-adan-akhi ..,_ 
Interval between the 1 

defeat and the ) 10 

building of the C years 

temple (say) ... J 
Demolition of the) 60 

temple ... \ years before 

Period during which i ... 

the temple had J- ^'^^ 

SCOOU ... ... ...J 

Allow for two genera- 
tions (Shamas-Vul 
and Ismi-Dagon) 





li-Dagon's? ,.., 

** > B.C. 1861 

• • • •<•• 1 

Date of Ismi- 


The monuments mention several 
kings who were almost certainly before 


The following quotation firom Sir Henry 
Rawlinson* gives a fair view of the 
opinions now generally entertained by 
cuneiform scholars (with some not very 
importunt modifications) on this important 
but difficult question : — " It is only re- 
cently that the darkness which has so long 
enveloped the history of the Ghaldseans 
has been cleared up, but we are now able 
to present a tolerably clear account of 
them. The Ghaldseans, then, appear to 
have been a branch of the great Hamite 
race of AkHaidt which inhabited Babylonia 
from the earliest times. With this race 
originated the art of writing, the building 
of cities, the institution of a religious 
system, and the cultivation of all scienoe, 
and of astronomy in particular. The 
language of these Akkad presents aflanities 
with the AMcan dialects on the one side, 
and with the Turanian, or those of High 
Asia, on tiie other. It stands somewhat 
in the same relation as the Egyptian to 
the Semitic languages, belonging as it 

• Note to Herod, i. 181, in Bawlinwn's ' Hero- 
dotal,' Tol. L p. 318. 



Book II. 

would seem to the great parent stock 
firom which the traok-stream of the 
Semitic tongues also sprung, before there 
was a ramification of Semitic dialects, and 
before Semitism even had become subject 
to its peculiar oi^nization and develop- 
ments. In this primitive Akkadian tongue 
(which I have been accustomed generally 
to denominate Scythic, from its near con- 
nection with the Scythic dialect of Persia), 
were preserved all the scientific treatises 
known to the Babylonians, long after the 
Semitic element bail become predominant 
in the land— it watt, in &ct, the language 
of science in the East, as the Latin was in 
Europe during the Middle Ages. 

" When Semitic tribes established an 
empire in Assyria in the 13th century 
B.C., they adopted the alphabet of the 
McaAt and with certain modifications 
applied it to their own language; but 
during the seven centuries which followed 
of Semitic dominion at Nineveh and 
Babylon, this Assyrian language was 
merely used for historical records and 
oflScial documents. The mythological, 
astronomical, and other scientific tablets 
found at Nineveh are exclusively in the 
Akkadian language, and are thus shown 
to belong to a priest-eiass, exactly answer- 
ing to the Chaldaeans of profane history 
and of the book of Daniel. 

*' We thus see how it is that the Cbal- 
dasans (taken generally for the Akhad) 
are spoken of in the prophetical books of 
Scripture as composing the armies of the 
Semitic kings of Babylon, and as the 
general inhabitants of the country, while 
in other authorities they are distinguished 
as philosophers, astronomers, and magi- 
dans,— as, in fact, the special depositaries 
of science. 

" It Is further very Interesting to find 
that parties of these Cbaldflean AJdead were 
transplanted by the Assyrian kings from 
the plains of Babylon to the Armenian 
mountains in the 8th and fth centuries 
B.C., and that this translation took place to 
such an extent, that in the inscriptions of 
Sargon the geographical name of Akkad 
is sometimes applied to the mountains, 
instead of the vernacular title of Nararat 
or Ararat— an excellent illustration being 
thus afforded of the notices of Chaldaeans 
in this quarter by so many of the Greek 
historians and geographers. It is probable 
that both the Georgian and Armenian lan- 
guages at the present day retain many 
traces of the old Chaldsean speech, that 
was thus introduced into the country 2500 
years ago." 

Further light Is thrown on the Akkad 
and their literature Iff the following re- 
marks of a more recent writer (in the 
• British and Foreign Review,' No, 102, 
January, 1870, vol. IL p. 305):— "The 
valley of the Euphrates was the seat of a 
very early civilization, and the birth-plaoe 
of many of the arts and sciences known to 
the classical nations of antiquity. Baby- 
lonia was inhabited at an early period by 
a race of people entirely different from 
the Semitic population known in historic 
times. This people had an abundant lite- 
rature ; and they were the inventors of a 
system of writing which was at first 
hieroglyphic, but gradually changed into 
what is called the cuneiform or arrow- 
headed character Of the people who 

invented this system of writing very little 
is known with certainty; and even their 
name is a matter of doubt. In the early 
Semitic period we find Babylonia inhabited 
by two races, who were called the Sumiri 
or KdsH, and the AMoadi. The Sumiri 
or Kaui were'a foreign tribe, called by the 
Babylonians LUom-KdUri, or ' the dog- 
tongued,'* probably in allusion to their 
strange language. They were most pro- 
bably a branch of the tribes called Cosscet, 
Cuisii, and Ciisiit by classical writer8.f 
These tribes lived to the east of Baby- 
lonia; and their dominion in that country 
is probably alluded to in the book of 
Genesis x. 8-12. As the Sumiri appear 
to have been foreigners, it is natural to 
suppose that the other tribe, the Akkadi, 
represents the original inhabitants of Baby- 
lonia ; and we find that in early inscrip- 
tions the country is called Eingi-akkad 
and Mat-akkad, * the country of Akkad.' " 

« The language of the Akkadi, who origi* 
nally used the cuneiform signs, was dif- 
ferent from any known to have existed in 
the country in historic times." Some of its 
peculiarities are described, and the writer 
proceeds:— "These and similar peculiari- 
ties in its structure mark the Akkad as 
decidedly different from any Semitic 
tongue. The earliest cuneiform texts are 
written in the Akkad language, and well 
exhibit the peculiarities of its vocabulary 
and grammar." Among the examples 
fromBawllnson and Norris's 'Cuneiform 
Inscriptions of Western Asia,' stamped on 
the bricks of Babylonian temples, that of 

• LUmt'KatH is only the Semttio tnnsUitlon ; 
how the Akkad people prononnoed the wordg 
when tbqr gare thli name to fifumir is quite un- 

f Herod. 111. 91. t. 49 ; Btrabo. zL p. 744 ; 
Diod. zvii. Ill ; Pliny, t1. 27, s. 31. 

Chap. X. 



Umkh is cited, and the writer proceeds : — 
" Bat the bulk of the Akkad literature 
oonsists of a large number of inscriptions, 
chiefly mythological, which were origi- 
nally preserved in the libraries of Bal>y- 
lonia, and afterwards copied in Assyria, 
and accompanied by interlinear transla- 
tiom, to explain the Akkad to the Assy- 
rians. Their subject matter, as a general 
rnle» consists of lists of gods, hymns and 
prayers to the gods, accounts of the Influ- 
ence of various evil spirits to whom dis- 
eases were attributed, and prayers against 
ihem. . . . Real historical matter is very 
scarce in these early tablets; but we have 
part of an inscription of one early Baby- 
lonian king^ with an Assyrian translation." 
** Such is the character of the earliest 
literary collections of Babylonia; and the 
Akkad languagp. In which they were 
written, probably continued in use in that 

country down to the close of the 16th 
century bc, and, for some official docu- 
ments, even to a much later period. At 
some time anterior to the 19th century 
B.C., the valley of the Euphrates was con- 
quered by a Semitic race. Of the origin of 
this race we at present know nothing ; it 
is postilble that they may have been the 
same as the Sumiri or Kasri, at one time 
the leading tribe in Babylonia. . . . The 
Semitic conquerors, whoever they were 
gradually imposed their own language oo 
the country ; but, on the other hand, thej 
borrowed the system of writing in use 
there. From the time of the Semitic con- 
quest the decline of the Akkad language 
began, and a period of mixed texts (part 
Akkad and part Semitic) commenced. It 
is rare that we find a text of any length 
pnrely Semitic" 

Figures from the Signet Cylinder of King Uruk. 

Tbe McaopotBiniaa Plain. 



f Asayrlan History. 

at in In 

Greeks. § 2. The 

«i tbfl hero-gponymua 
■ t Babylon Bud 

mat. Ino dittinct periods. The Vpptr and Lmcer 

ity of those liiMrlptiont § 8. Inter. 
pr«iB[ion oi lae ^atynaniw^iujsamet^ § 0. The DrltrinaUcrriuiry of Assyria. 
Its aneLent tetrapolia. Its foor capitals at ShorBobad, Moml, Nimrud, and 
XilihSherghal. Kulns of Cilib at Mmrnif, and of Ashhite atZiIrli-Sl.ety>ial. 
Question of giU of ReKn. PoU eitcnt of Mneveb. Other cities of Awyrla. 
§ 10. The Assyrians a Bemicie people. Their deritation from Babylonia. 
Early ijciiplnral notices of Assyria. Its relaCloni to Meeopotaniia, § 1 1 ■ 
Claseical accounta of its early history. Their little .Talne. The Qnum of 
Ptolemy. § 12. Babylonian inicript!<mi relattng: to Assyria. Beginning nT 
an independent Idn^riom. § 13. OlAatAaayrianlnacriptiimsaiEiUASAirffliut. 
First series of sii kings. SHiuitH^Ea 1, the lOimder of Calah, at iVinmd, 
and the first knonn conqueror. § 14. Tidlathi-Nih, the conqueror of Baby- 
lonia. Stale of that eonntrj during the Assyrian Empire. First 4i(« Id the 


§ 1. Assyria is best known to classical students in connection 
with some of the most famous fictions which the Greek writers have 
handed down to us concerning the East. The accurate notices of 
the Scriptures are so few and detached, that they only served but 
very partially to correct the classic tables ; till the excavations made 
By Mr. Layard and M. Botta, and the cuneiform inscriptions trans- 
lated by Sir Henry Rawlinson, Dr. Hincks, M. Oppert, and others, 
brought the whole series of native Assyrian annals w ithin the range of 
history. Even the iiame has no definite meaning in the classical 
authors; the most painstaking of whom, while pointing out the con- 
fusion made by the Greeks of Assyria with Syria, on the one hand,* 
includes in it Babylonia on the other;* and he shows his vague 
use of the word by the distinctive mention of " those of the 
Assyrians who posst^sed Nineveh.*" • Contrast with this the exact- 
ness of the primeval Scripture notices of Assyria, as the land into 
which the Tigris flows eastward * 2tX\di as quite distinct from the land 
(^ Shinar,^ 

The political Assyria of the Greek historians is, in fact, a general 
name for the whole series of kingdoms and empires which succeeded 
one another in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, from a myth- 
ical antiquity to the time of Cyrus ; but with some iden, more or 
less clear in the various writers, of the distinction between the last 
Babylonian empire and its predecessors. Of the succession and 
duration of those empires, Herodotus alone, as we shall presently 
see, had some idea. 

§ 2. The stories which were repeated for above two thousand 
years, down to our time, as the early history of Assyria, are legends 
of heroes and a heroine, conceived in an Oriental spirit, and dressed 
up in the Greek mythical vein. Such facts as they may embrace 
are — as in the i^rallel, but less exagsjerated, legend of Sesostris — 
gathered up from various periods into a single picture, and coloured 
from pure imagination. Their great source is betrayed by the chief 
Greek writer who repeats them, Ctesias ; who, while exalting his 
own authority above Herodotus, is a most untrustworthy witness 
on Oriental history. His very opportunities of information, at the 

* Herod, vii. 63. For instances of the conftision in elanieal writers — u 
Xenophon, &c., down to Pliny and Mela — and for the essential difference between 
the names, see Rawlinson's note, /. c. Syria is probably (by a softening of * for to) 
the Greek name for the land of Tyre {Tsur) ; while Atayria is the Semitic Anhur, 
If we look in the Old Testament for the Semitic name of Syria^ we always find 
Aram^ ue., the Highlands (as distingoished from the valley of the Tigris and 
Euphrates, and perhaps from the comparatively low lands of Canaan). 

« Herod, i. 178. He calls Babylon " the most renowned and strongest city of 
Assyria " (in the time of Cyrus), " whither, after the fall of Nineveh^ the seat of 
government had been removed " — as if he considered the Assyrian and Babylimian 
empires essentially one. * Herod. L 102. 

< Gen. ii. 14. This is the correct rendering. * Gen. x. \\. 


court of Artaxerxes, were his greatest snare, for in every age the 
Persians have been singularly wanting in what has been called 
the historic sense. Their only modem historian is a poet, whose 
chronicles of the kings are mere romance ; and similar poets seem to 
have decorated the legends of Assyria and Babylon, for the sake of 
enhancing the fame of the conqueror Cyrus.* The poetic character 
and moral of these legends were such as the Greeks loved ; representing 
as they do the rapid rise of a great conquering power under a mighty 
king and a mightier queen, who derive their lineage from the gods, 
and whose degenerate successors grow feebler and feebler, till the 
last of them perishes as in the catastrophe of an Attic tragedy. 

§ 3. The four heroes of the legend are Ninus and Semiramis, 
their son Ninyas, and the last king, Sardanapalus. The founder 
of the monarchy is not one of its real kings at all, but simply the 
hero-eponymus of Nineveh (in Greek, Nivoy) ; " to whom are 
ascribed all the conquests of the Assyrian empire, and others that it 
never made. This Assyrian chieftain, says the legend, undertook 
the conquest of Babylonia, which had been overrun by the Arabs. 
He first formed a band of youths, whom he trained to bear all 
fatigues and dangers ; and then, having formed an alliance with an 
Arabian chief, he invaded Babylonia. The inhabitants of the popu- 
lous cities, unused to war, were easily conquered, and the King of 
Babylon and his children were taken prisoners and put to death. 
Ninus now marched against Armenia, whose king, Barzanes, pro- 
pitiated him with presents, and furnished auxiliaries to his army. 
The resistance of the King of Media, on the other hand, was 
punished by crucifixion; and, in the course of seventeen years, 
Ninus made himself master of all the lands from the Indus to the 
Tanais and the Mediterranean. He now rebuilt Nineveh, and called it 
after his own name ; and, by attracting foreigners as well as natives 
to his capital, he made it the greatest and most flourishing city of 
the world. 

§ 4. Iti was in the course of a war against Bactria that Semiramis * 

■ The allusion of Herodotus to " those of the Persians who wished to dignify 
the exploits of Cyrus ** (o-e/mvovi/ to, rrepi Kvpov, i. 95) is remarkably illustrated 
by the highly legendary story which he repeats as the most truthful of the four 
accounts of the conqueror's life. Herodotus knows nothing of Ninus, Ninyas, or 
Sardanapalus, and only so much of Semiramis as is connected with her great works 
at Babylon. Diodorus Siculus repeats the story of Ctesias with some variations. 

' Here is one proof of the lateness of the legend ; for the true hero-eponymns 
of the nation was Asahw (Gen. x. 11), the supreme deity of the Assyrians. (See 
chap, xvii.) Ninus and Ninyas are both impersonations of the god Nin or Ninip 
(the Assyrian Hercules), after whom Nineveh was named. Ninus is no more to 
be identified with Nin-pala-zira than with any others of the kings in whose 
name Nin is a component. 

* We shall presently see that the name Sammuramit was actually borne, in 
the older historical kingdom of Assyria, by a queen who appears, like the mythical 
BemiramiA, to have had a special connection with Babylon. 


attracted his attention. She was the (laughter of the great goddess 
of Ascalon, Derceto, who had exposed this fruit of her love for a 
mortal youth to perish ; but, being saved and brought up by the 
shepherd Simas, she became the wife of Oannes,' governor of Syria, 
and went with him to the Bactrian war. In the disguise of a soldier 
she scaled the wall of the capital, which Ninus had failed to take. 
The King, in admiration of the exploit, took her for his wife, and, 
on his death soon afterwards, she became sole queen. 

In emulation of her husband's creation of Nineveh, Semiramis built 
a new capital in Babylonia ; and the legend ascribes to her the walls 
and bridges, quays and gates, temples, fortresses, and reservoirs at 
Babylon, which belong chiefly to Nebuchadnezzar and his suc- 
cessors.^® Nay more, in connection with a campaign against the 
rebellious Medes, she is made the builder of Ecbatana, the capital 
of Dejoces, and its great canal, and of the palace at mount Bagistan 
(now Behistun), The rock-built city and palace of Van, the inscrip- 
tions on whose ruins still preserve the memory of a race of Armenian 
kings, are ascribed to her. 

Extending the empire at both extremities, she conquered Egypt 
and a great part of Ethiopia, and resolved to be mistress of the wealth 
of India. Informed of her preparations, the Indian king, Stabobrates 
(or Stratobatis)," sent her a letter of defiance, reproaching her with 
her debaucheries, and threatening to crucify her. His elephants gave 
him the victory, and Semiramis only escaped with the loss of two- 
thirds of her army. This defeat was the term of her warlike 
expeditions, and the rest of her reign was occupied with her pro- 
digious works; so that (as Strabo says) nearly every great work 
in every part of Asia was ascribed to her. Her edifices found 
their limit only at the bounds of the habitable world, on the 
frontiers of Scy thia ; and there it was said that Alexander saw her 
own record of her deeds, in the inscription which is preserved by 
PolyaBnus : " Nature gave me the form of a woman, but my deeds 
have equalled those of the bravest men. I ruled the empire of 
Ninus, which on the East touches the river Hinaman (Indus), on 
the South the land of frankincense and myrrh (Arabia Felix), on 
the North the Sacas and the Sogdians. Before me no Assyrian 
beheld the seas : I looked upon four so remote that none had reached 
them. I forced rivers to flow where I wished, and I only wished it 
in places where they were useful. I made the barren soil fruitful, 

• We have already seen that this was the fish-god of the legend preserved by 
Berosus, and worshipped in Philistia. Derceto is also common to^PhiUstia and 
Babylonia. (See chap, xvii.) 

1^ Another proof of the lateness of the legend. 

1^ This name appears to be the Sanskrit StavarapatU, that is, Lord of the Terra 
Firma. This, like other parts of the legend, may probably belong to the province 
of comparative mythology. 


by watering it with my rivers. I raised impregnable fortresses ; I 
pierced roads with iron across impracticable rocks. My chariots have 
rollen on roads where the wild beasts had found no path. And in the 
midst of all my labours, I found time for pleasure and for love." 

At last, hearing that her son, Ninyas, was plotting against her, 
instead of punishing his treason, she resigned the crown to him, and, 
after commanding all the governors to obey their new king, she dis- 
appeared in the form of a dove, and was worshipped as a goddess. 
Her mythical character is clear at every step from her birth to her 
apotheosis. She is the ideal of a female demigod, according to the 
Oriental standard, which is reproduced in Astarte, Derceto, and 
Dido. The stories of her amours are doubtless connected with the 
licentious rites of Oriental worship, which we know to have been 
practised at Babylon; and, in later times, many of the mounds 
which covered ruined cities were called the graves of her lovers. 
Ninus, the warrior and founder, with his wife, Semiramis, the con- 
queror and builder, and their son Ninyas, the politic and self-indul- 
gent ruler, represent on earth the supreme triad of the Babylorrian and 
Assyrian religion. The Babylonian origin of the myth is seen in the 
parentage of Nin^is, as the son of Belus, and in the connection of 
Semiramis with Babylon ; and, in every land once a seat of the 
Cushite race, from India to Mesopotamia, the primitive dynasties are 
headed by a similar triad. 

§ 5. But the Persian colouring is most clear in the representation 

of Ninyas, a very pattern of the later Achaemenid kings ; withdrawn 

like a god from the eyes of his subjects amidst the pleasures of his 

palace, but yet securing their obedience by profound policy. He 

kept on foot an immense army, which was levied annually from all 

the provinces, over each of which he set a governor devoted to his 

person. The army was assembled at Nineveh, and was renewed at 

the end of every year ; so that no close relations could be formed 

between the soldiers and their officers, and military plots were hard 

to concoct. This system continued under all his successors, down to 

Saedanapalus ;'^ and even that degenerate sovereign has a divine 

prototype in the androgynous deity Sandon, and a sort of apotheosis. 

His fate is brought on, not by his luxurious effeminacy, but by his 

neglect of the policy which his predecessors had combined with 

their pleasures. When Arbaces, the satrap of Media, and Belesys, 

the chief of the Chaldasan priests of Babylon, march against him in 

rebellion, he suddenly takes the field, and performs prodigies of 

valour before he is defeated. After holding out in Nineveh for two 

years, he collects all his treasures, with his wives and concubines, on 

a vast funeral pile ; ascending which, and applying the torch with 

*2 Sardanapalus is the Greek form of one or more Assyrian royal names ; and 
the story of his fate (so far as it contains any historical elements) appears to 
combine two different revolutions at distant times. (See the following chapters.) 


his own hand, he perishes in the conflagration of his palace. " Let 
who will make the history of the people ; only let me make their 
ballads," might well have been the maxim of the poets who set 
before the subjects of a Xerxes such patterns of the lives and deaths 
of kings. Even the thirteen centuries, which Ctesias assigns to the 
empire of Nineveh, have a meaning from this point of view ; for 
they represent this monarchy as lasting undisturbed through the 
whole period which the chronology of Berosus assigns to all the 
dynasties that preceded the fall of Nineveh. 

§ 6. Herodotus evidently had some good authority for his far 
more modest statement, that " the Assyrians had held the empire 
of Upper Asia^ for 520 years, when the Medes first set the example 
of revolt from their authority." .... Upon their success, the 
other nations also revolted, and regained their independence.'* These 
words mark an epoch which — though itself doubtful and probably 
(as we shall hereafter see) misplaced — is clearly anterior to the final 
fall of Nineveh ; and the chronology of Herodotus assigns upwards 
of 600 years for the whole duration of the empire,** down to the 
destruction of that city; an event now fixed, with great proba- 
bility, to B.C. 625 or 606. Now the chronological scheme of 
Berosus *® gives us two Assyrian dynasties (the sixth and seventh) 
of 526 years and 122 years respectively; the former number 
corresponding to the round 520 years of Herodotus ; and the latter 
carrying us back to b.o. 747 ( = b.o. 625 + 122 years). This year 
is the date marked in the Canon of Ptolemy (a table unquestionably 
derived from the Babylonian chronology) as the Era of Nabonassar. 
What the change was that caused this date to be made an era, 
is unfortunately obscure ; but some suppose that it was the setting up 
of an independent dynasty at Babylon.'^ At all events, there seems 
to be sufficient authority for making this the division between two 
Assyrian dynasties, which modern writers called the Upper and the 
Lower; the former beginning in the middle of the 13th century b.o.'' 

13 As distinguished from Lotoer Asia, i.e. Asia Minor, 

^* Herod, i. 95. As Herodotus distinctly tells us that he received information 
from the Chaldeean priests at Babylon (i. 181, 183 bis), we may venture (in accord- 
ance with his declared principle of reporting) to apply to this case his own 
statement (with a play upon one word) : — " 1 did not myself see these figures, 
but I relate what the Chaldseans report concerning them" (i. 183). We cannot 
doubt that he gives the very number which Berosus has preserved from the sacred 
records ; while Ctesias is only repeating the Persian legends^ 

^^ For the full details of the computation, see Kawlinson's ' Five Monarchies,' 
vol. ii. pp. 287, seq. *• See above, chap, x., § 8. ^^ See chap. xii. § 17. 

18 That is, B.C. 747 + 526 = 1273. But, as we observed before, these numbers 
represent a chronological scheme, highly convenient for reference, and probably 
not far from the truth ; but not absolute dates, like those based on the repeated 
concurrence of historical facts with chronological computations. M. Oppert and 
others give b.c. 1314 for the beginning of the empire, and adopt a different 
division of the two dynasties, as is explained below. 


§ 7. It must be remembered that Berosus represents his Sixth 
Dynasty, like all the rest, as the dominant power in the whole 
region of Mesopotamia, particularly in Babylonia. The attainment of 
this supremacy implies, almost necessarily, a previous independent 
kingdom ; and of such a kingdom we have clear traces in the cunei- 
form inscriptions. Here, however, it is necessary to observe an im- 
portant distinction between three classes of those inscriptions. They 
are by no means all native and contemporary records. Besides those 
which possess this highest degree of authenticity, there are others 
which are contemporary but not native, as the records of Babylonian 
kings concerning the contemporary princes of Assyria; and others 
which are native but not contemporary, as the records of later kings 
concerning their predecessors. Some of the most considerable in- 
scriptions are of the last class ; and corresponding caution is necessary 
in using them. It must also be borne in mind that there are un- 
certainties in the reading of many of the royal names, from the 
doubt whether the force of the characters employed is phonetic or 
ideographic. But in either case we have equally a real name, and 
the significance of its component elements is generally the same on 
either interpretation, the sound only being left in doubt. 

§ 8. Most of these Assyrian royal names are so " outlandish " to 
modern ears, that it may aid the memory, and make the whole 
subject more interesting, to have some idea of their significance. 
For all of them have a distinct meaning, and by far the greater part 
have a religious meaning. The name of Asshv/r especially is an 
element as prevalent as Jelio or Jah (for Jehovah) and El (Ood) in 
Hebrew, or Theo (God) in Greek names. Like those significant 
names with which we are familiar in the Hebrew prophets (as 
Immanuel = Qod [is] with us), the Assyrian names usually form 
complete sentences (full or elliptical), consisting either of subject and 
predicate (the copula being understood), or of subject, verb, and 
object. In the few in which we seem to have only a subject and 
adjective, the latter has probably ^predicative force : *' thus Sar-gina 
(the proper form of Sargon) — from sar (or sarru) = king, and gin 
(or kin), to establish — should be read, not simply tJie established 
king, but (7 am) the established king, or the king (is) established. 

The names are made up of two, three, or (very rarely) four ele- 
ments. The above example is of the first form : another, containing 
the same verbal root in a participial form, is SaiU-mugina = SatU 
(t8 the) establisher : another, Shamas-Iva = the servant of Iva, is 
interesting from the frequency of the first element, and the appear- 
ance of its equivalent in Hebrew and Arabic compounds, as 

1* But in titles the adjective may have an attributive force, as in Sarra-danu= 
the powerful king (rather than, the king is powerful), a standard expression in all 
the rojal inscriptions. 


Obad-iah (the servant of Jehovah), Ahdiel and Ahdallah (the 
servant of God). Sometimes the first element, instead of denoting 
the subject himself, is expressive of his homage to the deity whose 
name follows : as Tlglathi-Nin = Worship (be to) Nin (Hercules), 
and Mutaggil ^-Neho =: confiding in, or worshipping Nebo, which 
has its precise parallel in the name of the Caliph, Motawakkil-billah 
{trusting in Allah), The most interesting name of this class is 
that which we read in the Bible as Tiglath-pileser, where the substi- 
tution of a patronymic for the divine name gives the whole a fr»- 
elemental appearance. For pal (in Assyrian) is so7i = bal (in Raby- 
Ionian), and bar in Syriac; ^ and the god Nin is called Fal-zira (the 
second element being of doubtful meaning, perhaps Lord); and 
hence Tiglath-pal-zira = Worship (be paid to) the son of Zira, ITie 
form may be compared with the Arabic Abd-er-Ra^hman (the 
servant-of the-Merciful), 

In the names of three elements, the subject, which stands first, is 
usually a god, to whom some titles of praise are given, or some 
mark of whose favour to the king is embodied in the name. Of 
the former class is Asshur-ris-elim =Asshur-(is theyiead-^f the gods: 
of the latter, Asshur-akh-iddina = Asshur-a brother-has given, the 
Esar-haddon of Scripture, and his more famous father, Sennacherib, 
properly Sin-akhi-irib = Sin (the Moon) has multiplied brethren,^ 
a name almost ironical, considering his fate. We have only two 
royal names of four elements, and those of no great importance : an 
interesting Hebrew example is the biblical Maher'shalal-hash-baz^ the 
son of Isaiah .^ Besides the greater reaUty which is given to Assyrian 
history by some understanding of the kings* and other names, a 
most important result is their thoroughly Semitic character (abso- 
lutely identical in some elements with Hebrew and Arabic names), 

*• This a participial form of tiglath. 

** E. g. Bar-tholomew, Bar-nabas, Bar-jetus, in the N. T. The element which 
Sir H. BAwIinson reads pal, is read by M. Oppert hahal. We keep the shorter 
form as more convenient. 

** Akhi here is the plural of akh above. The names of the two brothers, who 
murdered their father Sennacherib, are thus explained : — Adram-meleeh — the king 
{is) glorious (or, arranges), and Shar-ezer (if genuine) =. Me king protects, or (as in 
the Armenian version) San-asar=Sin {the Moon) protects. Babylonian names 
are formed on precisely the same principles, and I/'ebo, Jferodach, Bel, and Nergal 
prevail in them just like Asshur, Sin, and Shanuu in the Assyrian. Besides 
those which will be explained in their places, we may here mention Ahed-nego 
(for neibo), "the servant of Nebo," Merodach-idin-akhi, "Merodach, give bro- 
thers." See Rawlinson's * Five Monarchies,* vol. ii. Appendix A ; vol. iii. .Ap- 
pendix B. M . Opx)ert points out that, in a tablet containing above 500 proper 
names (Rawlinson's * Cun. Inscr.* vol. ii. p. 6), nearly 170 begin with Nabu: of 
these 18 end with uzt<r, the imperative of nazir "to protect," like JVa^onoMar, 
i.e. Nabunazir, "Let Nebo protect;" 25 end in imperatives, with the suffix ni, 
" me," like NaJbu-sezibanni, " Nebo deliver me ; " and 18 in ilani, " the gods," 
like Nabu-edil-ilanni, " Nebo is the chief of the gods." 

^ Isaiah viii. 3. The exact force of the four elements is disputed : the sym- 
bolical names of Hebrew prophecy are more obscure than personal names. 



thus furnishing one of the many proofs of the Semitic origin of the 

§ 9. The proper home of the Assyrians is marked by the four 
cities which are connected with the name of Asshur in the Book 
of Genesis — Nineveh, Behoboth, Calah, and the " great city " 
of Besen ** between Nineveh and Calah."^ Of these, Behoboth is un- 
known ; ^ Calah is very probably identified with the large ruins at 
If%mrud,B.nd Resen with those at Selamiyeh ; but the certain identi- 
fication of Nineveh with the mounds opposite Mosul is enough to 
indicate the region, which, down to the latest period of ancient history, 
preserved the name of Aturia.^ That region is marked by very 
distinct physical features. Its chief part forms a triangle, enclosed 
by the Tigris and the Great Zab, or Zdb Ala (the ancient Zabatas or 
Lycus), with its base (or northern side) resting on the hills of Jebel 
Judi, between which and the Great Zab a smaller confluent (the 
Khahour) ^ flows into the Tigris. The confluence of the Great Zab 
with the Tigris is also the point at which the Sinjar range marks 
the descent from the foot-hills of Zagrus to the comparatively plain 
country in latitude 36° N. About three-quarters of a degree further 
south, the Lesser Zdb, or Zah Asfal (the ancient Caprus), joins the 
Tigris, like the Great Zab, from the east ; and the country between these 
confluents (the Adiabene of the classical geographers) ** must be added 
to make up the original Assyria, which also included a strip of land 
between the right bank of the Tigris and the sterile plain of Mesopo- 
tamia. It is on this side, and a little above the Lesser Zah, that the 
mounds of Kileh'Sherghat mark the great city, anciently Asshur. 

Thus, as Professor Rawlinson obseiTes, "the true heart of 
Assyria was the country close along the Tigris, from lat. 35° to 
36° 36'. Within these limits were the four great cities ^ marked 
by the mounds at Khorsabad, (opposite to) Mosul, Nimrud, and 
KHeh'Sherghat, besides a multitude of places of inferior consequence. 
It has been generally supposed that the left bank of the river was 
more properly Assyria than the right ;3*^ and the idea is so far 
correct as that the left bank was in truth of primary value and 

^* Genesis x. 11, 12. It is important to remember that this enumeration does 
not necessarily put the cities in the order of antiquity ^ but gives the list <u knoum 
tfi the writer. 

25 Very probably the name signifies, not a city at all, but (as in the margin of our 
version) " the streets of the city," i.e. Nineveh. If so, the original tetrapolis 
may be made up by including Asshur {Kileh-Sherghat). 

2^ The interchange of t with 8 and sh is very common in those regions. Con- 
versely Tyrua is now Sur. 

2' Not to be confounded with the grezX tributary of the Euphrates. 

2* Pliny expressly includes Adiabene in Assyria ('H. N.' v. 12), as did the 
prophet Nahum, at least if his " Huzzab " is rightly interpreted as " the Zah 
country.** A-diab-ene appears to have a similar etymology. 

^ Not precisely the four of Genesis x. 11, 12. See next page. 
•" Ptolemy bounda Afiisyria by the Tigris. 


iiDportance, whence it naturally happened that three out of the four 
capitals were huilt on that side of the river. Still the very fact that 
one early capital Was on the right bank is enough to show that both 
shores of the stream were alike occupied by the race from the first ; 
and this conclusion is abundantly confiixned by other indications 
throughout the region. Assyrian ruins, the remains of considerable 
towns, strew the whole country between the Tigris and the 
Khabour, both north and south of the Sinjar range. ^^ On the banks 
of the lower Khabour (at Arhan) are the remains of a royal palace, 
besides many other traces of the tract through which it runs having 
been permanently occupied by the Assyrian people. Mounds, 
probably Assyrian, are known to exist along the course of the 
Khabour's great western affluent ; and even near Seruj, in the 
country between Harran and the Euphrates, some evidence has been 
found not only of conquest but of occupation. Remains are perhaps 
more frequent on the opposite side of the Tigris ; at any rate, they 
are more striking and more important. Bavian, ETiorsabad, Shereef- 
Khan, Ntbbi- Yunus, Koyunjik, and Nimrud, which have furnished 
by far the most valuable and interesting of the Assyrian monuments, 
all lie east of the Tigris ; while, on the west, two places only have 
yielded relics worthy to be compared with these, Arban and Kileh" 
Sherghat." ^ 

Conspicuous amongst these ruins are the four which have been 
mentioned as capitals — Nineveh; Nimrud (Calah), lower down 
the river ; Kileh-Sherghat (Asshur), lower still ; and Khorsabad or 
Dur-Sargina, north of Nineveh, on the little river Khosr-su^ which 
joins the Tigris at Nineveh. The very name of the last, the " City 
of Sargon," excludes it from the original tetrapolis ; it was, in fact, 
a new royal city supplemental to Nineveh. The largest ruins in 
Assyria are the mounds of Nebbi- Yunus and Koyuvjik, on the left 
bank of the Tigris, opposite Mosul on the right bank, in lat. 36° 21' N., 
which mark the traditional site of the original Nikeveh, and contain 
the palaces of Sennacherib and his successors.*^ About 20 miles 
further south, or 30 along the Tigris, and five or six miles above its 
confluence with the Qreat Zab, are the ruins called Nimrud, the 
inscriptions of which preserve the ancient name of Calah. " These 
niins at present occupy an area somewhat short of a thousand 
English acres, which is little more than one-half of the ruins of 
Nineveh; but it is thought that the place was in ancient times 
considerably larger, and that the united action of the Tigris and 
some winter streams has swept away no small portion of the 

** They are less numerous north of the Sinjar. See Layard, * Nineveh and 
Babylon,' pp. 252, 334, 335. The SJiahour here means the tributary of the 
Euphrates. ^ Bawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. \\. \<^. 1\^AV^» 

3' See Hotea and Illustrations (A) on the Bite tnkCi "E-iiLXAiil ol^Vsk&N^. 


ruins. They form at present an irregular quadrangle, the sides 
of which face the four cardinal points. On the north and east 
the rampart may still be distinctly traced. It was flanked with 
towers along its whole course, and pierced at uncertain intervals 
by gates, but was nowhere of very great strength or dimen- 
sions. On the south side it must have been especially weak, for 
there it has disappeared altogether. Here, however, it seems pro- 
bable that the Tigris and the Thor Derreh stream, to which the 
obliteration of the wall may be ascribed, formed in ancient times a 
sufficient protection. Towards the west, it seems to be certain that 
the Tigris (which is now a mile off) anciently flowed close to the 
city. On this side, directly facing the river, and extending along it 
a distance of 600 yards, or more than a third of a mile, was the 
royal quarter, or portion of the city occupied by the palaces of 
the kings. It consisted of a raised platform, forty feet above the 
level of the plain, composed in some parts of rubbish, in others of 
regular layers of sun-dried bricks, and cased on every side with 
solid stone masonry, containing an area of sixty English acres, and 
in shape almost a regular rectangle, 560 yards long, and from 350 to 
450 broad. The greater part of its area is occupied by the remains 
of palaces constructed by various native kings. It contains also the 
ruins of two small temples, and abuts at its north-western angle on 
the most singular structure which has yet been discovered among 
the remains of the Assyrian cities. This is the famous tower or 
pyramid, which looms so conspicuously over the Assyrian plains, 
and which has always attracted the special notice of the traveller. 
It appears, from tiie inscriptions on its bricks, to have been com- 
menced by one of the early kings, and completed by another. Its 
internal structure has led to the supposition that it was designed to 
be a place of burial for one or other of these inonarchs." ^ Xenophon's 
notice of this pyramid identifies the ruins of Nimrud with the city 
whose name he has transformed into identity with the Thessalian 
Larissa,^ and which he describes as " a vast deserted city, formerly 
inhabited by the Medes," and as " surrounded by a wall, 25 feet 
broad, 100 feet high, and nearly 7 miles in circumference, built of 
baked brick, with a stone basement to the height of 20 feet.' ^^ 

The ruins of the third capital city, at Kileh-ShergJiat, forty miles 
below Nimrud, but on the right bank of the Tigris, are scarcely 
inferior in extent to those of Galah. " Long lines of low mounds 
mark the position of the old walls, and show that the shape of the 
city was quadrangular. The chief object is a large square mound or 

w RawlinBon, * Five Monarchies,* vol. ii. pp. 252-254. See Plan, p. 246. 

•* Possibly EUAaaur^ i.e. " the Assyrian (city)," a traditional local name given 
by the Arabs, like the Nimrud of to-day. M. Oppert and others use the name of 
Jillnsar instead of Asshur for the ancient name of Kilsh Sherghat. 

w Xenoph. *Anab.Mii. 4, § 9. 


platform, two and a half miles in circumference, and in places a 
hundred feet above the level of the plain, composed in part of sun- 
dried bricks, in part of natural eminences, and exhibiting occasionally 
remains of a casing of hewn stone, which may once have encircled 
the whole structure. About midway on the north side of the plat- 
form, and close upon its edge, is a high cone or pyramid. The rest 
of the platform is covered with the remains of walls and with heaps 
of rubbish, but does not show much trace of important buildings."*' 
Here, as we have already seen, I'iglath-pileser I. records that works 
were executed by some of the early kings of Babylonia in the 19th 
century b.c. ; and far more ancient inscriptions raise a strong pre- 
sumption that it was the first capital of the independent Assyrian 
kingdom.^ This seems confil-med by the native name of the city, 
which appears to be inscribed on its bricks as Asshur. 

Two of the Targums explain "Resen" by Tel-Assar, i.e. the 
Mound of Asshur ; but this identification cannot be reconciled with 
the position of Resen ''between Nineveh and Calah."39 jf ^y^Q 
position of Calah is fixed at Nimrud (for of that of Nineveh there is 
no doubt), Resen must be represented by the ruins near Selamiyeh. 
It is objected that these inconsiderable ruins can hardly represent the 
city of which it is so emphatically said " the same is a great city ; " 
and indeed that the distance of twenty miles between Nineveh and 
Nimrud hardly allows the intervention of a city of the first im- 
portance. As it is probable that the seat of Assyrian roj'alty was 
moved upwards along the Tigris, it has been conjectured that " the 
city of Asshur ** may have been the original Calah (a name actually 
preserved in Kileh-Sherghat),*^ and that Resen may have been at 
Nimrud : afterwards, when the royal residence was moved north- 
wards from the former place to the latter, the name of Calah may 
tave been transferred to the new capital ; a kind of transfer by no 
means unfrequent. In this case, the Selamiyeh mins might have a 
title to represent the Behoboth of Genesis, or at least the southern 
portion of those " streets " or " suburbs " which, joining the main city 
to the older capital at Nimrud, made Nineveh, when at the height of 
its glory, ** an exceeding great city, of three days' journey." *^ 

We have thus, for the better understanding of the history, laid 
down the positions, and indicated the present state, both of the cities 
composing the original tetrapolis of Genesis, and also of the four great 
capitals : that of Sai'gon, at Khorsahad, will be described more fully 
in its proper place. But there remains one city of Assyria Proper, 
too famous in later history to be passed over ; — Arbela, which is 

^^ Rawlinson, /. e. pp. 254, 255. 

38 That is, after the recovery of its independence from Babylon. As to the superior 
antiquity of Nineveh itself, see Notes and Illustrations (A). 

^® Gen. X. 12. *'* Mr. Layard spells the name KalahSherghat. 

*^ Jonah ii). 3. See Notes and Illustrations (A). 


still represented by Arhily several miles from the left bank of the 
Great Zab, between the latitudes of Nineveh and Nimrud. Many 
other Assyrian cities, which we need not particularly mention, are 
still found in the wide region of Upper Mesopotamia, to which the 
name of Assyria was extended with the extension of the kingdom. 
In this wider sense, Assyria was bounded on the east by Media, 
on the north by Armenia, on the west by the Euphrates *^ and the 
Arabian Desert, and on the south by Babylonia. 

The locus dassicus in Genesis x. distinctly teaches that, though 
the Assyrians were of the Semitic race, the original civilization, 
if not the original population of the country, advanced north- 
wards from the plain of Babylonia.*^ And of this we have abun- 
dant confirmation. In the Perso-Greek legend, Ninus, the mythic 
founder of Nineveh, is the son of Belus, the mythic founder of 
Babylon. The religions of Assyria and Babylon are essentially the 
same ; but their common type is not Semitic, but the Cushite 
SabaBism, which was first developed, and always had its principal 
seat, in the plain of Babylonia. The art of the former country is 
evidently an advance upon the earliest art of the latter ; and the 
system of cuneiform writing, which appears in a rude form on the 
earliest Babylonian ruins and gradually improves in the later ones, 
is in Assyria uniformly of an advanced type, arguing its intro- 
duction there in a perfect state. Perhaps the strongest proof is the 
nature of the ^cuneiform writing itself, which is rapidly punched 
with a very simple instrument upon moist clay, but is only with 
much labour and trouble inscribed by the chisel upon rock. Such 
a character must needs have been invented in a country where 
" they had brick for stone," and from such a country only could it 
have been imported into one where the monimaental material was 
less suited for such writing. 

§ 10. Assyria was already known hy that name to the author (or 
authors) of the earliest records in the book of Genesis,^* and the 
four cities mentioned there were probably as many separate states. 
The absence of any mention of a King of Assyria, or of any of its 
cities, among the allies of Chedorlaomer, seems to prove its insig- 
nificance in the time of Abraham. The place assigned to it as a 
conquering power in the prophecy of Balaam ^ indicates that it had 
risen into greater importance at the close of the life of Moses. This 
was just the time when Egypt, weakened by her disasters under the 
later kings of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was losing her hold of Meso- 
potamia ; and the prophecy of the westward extension of the 

<2 Assyrian towns are found even west of the Khabour, in Padan-Aram. 

43 xhis follows equally from either reading of Genesis x. 11. 

44 Genesis ii. 14 ; x. 11. The latter passagre, though later than the " Book of 
the generations of the sons of Noah," in which it occurs, is undoubtedly ancient. 

43 Numbers xxii. 22, 24. 

Chap.^1. biblical and classical notices. 231 

Assyrian power derives the more force from the fact that Balaam 
is sent for out of Aram. Its whole tenor seems suited to a time 
when the Midianites and Moabites were in close alliance with the 
tribes of Mesopotamia, before the Assyrian kingdom had acquired 
the force that was destined to subdue them. The independence of 
Mesopotamia seems still indicated by the oppression of Israel by 
Ghushan-Kishathaim, a " King of Aram," in the generation after 

After the repulse of this conqueror from Palestine by Othniel, we 
read no more of Mesopotamia as an aggressive power ; and, in the 
earliest Assyrian inscriptions (which date from about B.C. 1100), we 
find no centralized monarchy in this country, the proper Aram, 
between the Khabour and the Euphrates. It appears to be quite 
distinct from Assyria, and is inhabited by a people called Ndiri, 
who are divided into a vast number of petty tribes, and offer but 
little resistance to the Assyrian armies. In the wars by which 
David extended his power to the Euphrates, we find Hadarezer, 
king of Zobah, calling to his help " the Syrians beyond the river," 
who are defeated by David in a great battle.'** Excepting this 
notice, there is a great gap in the Scriptural notices from the period 
of the Judges till the Assyrian power, now at its height, begins to 
be felt by the kings of Israel. We learn from the cuneiform in- 
scriptions that the lately consolidated Assyrian empire was engaged 
at this time in establishing its power within the Euphrates. 

§ 11. Thus much concerning the light which the Bible throws on 
the earliest Ijistory of Assyria. The information furnished by 
classical authors looks far more abundant, but the bulk of it is 
worthless. The long list of Assyrian kings, which has come down 
to us in two or three forms, only slightly varied,*^ and which is 
almost certainly derived from Ctesias, must of necessity be dis- 
carded, together with his date for the kingdom. It covers a space 
of above 1200 years, and bears marks besides of audacious fraud, 
being composed of names snatched from all quarters, Aryan, Semitic, 
and Greek — names of gods, names of towns, names of rivers. 
Its estimate of time presents the impossible average of 34 or 35 
years to a reign ; while the prevalence of round numbers betrays 
the artificial character of the list Berosus gave the names of the 
45 kings of his sixth dynasty; but unfortunately they are all lost : 
they might have been a guide for comparison with the inscriptions, 

<8 2 Sam. X. 16 ; I Chron. xix. 16 ; comp. title to Psalm Ix., " When David 
strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah.^^ In the Aram-fuiharatm 
('* Aram of the two rivers") of Scripture we see the Naharayn of the Egyptian 
records ; hut the Nairi of the Assyrian annals had either a double meaning or a 
wider extent ; for some of the campaigns against them are clearly in the valley of 
the Upper Tigris in Armenia. 

« Clinton, * Fasti Hellenici,' vol. 1. p. 267. 


like that furnished by Manetho's lists of the Egyptian kings. 
Moses of Ghorene, an Armenian historian, who often preserves 
valuable traditions, names the first kings of Assyria in the following 
order: — Niniis, Chalaos, Arbelus, Anebus, Babius. These are 
evidently geographical names, the first two representing the capitals 
of Nineveh and Chale (Calah), the third Arbela, and the other two 
probably Nipur and Babylon. If the list is worth anything, it 
implies the early conquest by Assyria of two of the capitals of 
Babylonia. There remains the famous Canon, or Catalogue of 
Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Boman kings, compiled by the 
astronomer and geographer, Claudius Ptolemasus, in the time of 
the Antonines. The " Assyrian " portion — which is chiefly Baby- 
lonian, but throws much incidental light upon Assyria — owes its 
value to the probability that it was derived from Babylonian sources ; 
and its authenticity is remarkably confirmed by an Assyrian cunei- 
form Canon, or list of kings from the 10th century B.C. This does 
not, however, give the names of the earliest Assyrian kings, for 
which we are wholly dependent on the cuneiform inscriptions. 

§ 12. The earliest of these, relating to Assyria, are Babylonian. 
The remote time at which the Assyrians settled on the part of 
Upper Tigris between the two Zabs may be inferred from the 
record of Tiglath-pileser at KilehrSherghat, that a temple of the god 
Anu was built at that place by Shamas-iva, the son of Ismi-dagon, 
both of whom he styles "high-priests of Asshur."*® Here we 
find the lowest (along the Tigris) of the great Assyrian capitals the 
seat of the worship of the chief Assyrian god, and the residence of 
the Babylonian viceroy ; and here also other tablets of Babylonian 
governors have been found. 

We have no statement of the time when a separate kingdom was 
first established in Assyria ; but evidence of its existence in and 
about the time of the Babylonian Purna-puriyas is furnished by 
the names and actions of three Assyrian kings on a synchronistic 
tablet in the British Museum.*' The first of these, Asshur-bel-nisiSf 
makes a treaty with a Babylonian king ; the second, Buzur-Asshur, 
makes a treaty with Purna-puriyas, who marries the daughter of 
the third, Asshur-vatila, The son of Purna-puriyas having been 
killed in a rebellion, Asshur-vatila makes a successful war against 
the usurper, and places (probably) Kur-galazu upon the Babylonian 

48 See chap. x. § 14 ; where it has been shown that the time referred to is 
probably about the middle of the 19th century b.c. It is to be observed Chat. 
Asshur does not occur in the inscription as the name of the city. 

*^ Rawlinson places them between b.c. 1650 and 1550. As the tablet is muti- 
lated at the beginning, and the first name is some way down, there would seem 
to have been other kings before him. The date of the tablet is ai least as late as 
Shalmaneser II. (b.c. 858-823), to whose wars it alludes. 


These transactions, which show that Assyria was not only inde- 
pendent but powerful, are followed by a blank of about 200 years, 
in which it has been very doubtfully proposed to place Bel-sumili-' 
kapif a king who must have been famous in Assyrian tradition ; 
for a genealogical tablet, of uncertain date, names him as having 
"established the authority** of the later kings, "of -whom, /row 
tJiot time, Asshur proclaimed the glory " — phrases which appear to 
mark the reputed founder of a dynasty. 

§ 13. The oldest contemporary records of Assyria yet found are 
on the bricks of Kileli-Sherghat, which they seem to mark as the 
first capital of the kingdom ; and, as the Assyrians proceeded from 
Babylonia, and had at first to maintain their independence against 
her, it is natural that their first capital should be the lowest on the 
course of the Tigris. We find a series of six kings, in direct descent 
from fether to son ; — Bel-lush (^^erhaps the Belochus of the Greeks), 
Fud'il, Iva-lush /., Shalmaneser /., Tiglathi-Nin, and Iva-lush I J. ; ^ 
of whom the first four stamped their names and royal titles (which 
are such as to prove their independence) on the bricks of the build- 
ings which they raised or repaired at their capital city of Asshur 
(^KUeh'Sherghat), The last three are also named in the genealogical 
tablet referred to above ; and Tiglathi-Nin in a very important 
inscription of Sennacherib. 

Shalmaneser 7. is named in the " standard inscription ** at 
Nimrud as the founder of the city of Calah on that site ; — a step 
which transferred the capital from its more exposed and less fertile 
site on the right bank of the Tigris to the rich and well protected 
ground between the Tigris and the Great Zab. Later inscriptions 
record his expeditions against the tribes on the Upper Tigris, where 
he built cities and began the policy of colonizing them from a 
distance. He is the first knoum Assyrian conqueror, 

§ 14. The subjection of the upper country by Shalmaneser I. 
seems to have enabled his son Tiglathi-Nin^^ to dispute with 
Babylon the supremacy of Mesopotamia. Not only is he called, in 
the genealogical tablet mentioned above, " King of the Sumir and 
Accad *' (i. e. of Babylonia), but a most interesting record of 
Sennacherib mentions that king's recovery of a signet-ring which 
this ancient predecessor had left at Babylon, and which bore the in- 
scription, " Tiglathi-Nin, King of Assyria, son of Shalmaneser, King 
of Assyria, and conqueror of Kar-Dunis** (i. e. Babylonia) : a testi- 
mony, not only to his power, but his presence at Babylon. Such au 

^^ RawlinsK)n placeB them approximately hetvreen b.c.1350 and 1230, assigning 
20 years to each as the average derived from the known reigns of two series of 
later kings in direct descent. 

^^ It is a curious coincidence that his name is one of those compounded fircnn 
that of Ninxa, the mythic conqueror of Babylon. 


event seems the. fittest to mark the epoch at which, according to 
Berosus, the first Assyrian dynasty began to reign at Babylon ; *^ 
signifying probably the establishment of a branch of the Assyrian 
royal house on the throne of Babylonia, 

We must not, however, suppose," observes Professor Rawlinson, 

that Babylonia was from this time really subject continuously to 
the court of Nineveh. The subjection may have been maintained 
for a little more than a century ; but about that time we find 
evidence that the yoke of Assyria had been shaken off, and that 
the Babylonian monarchs, who have Semitic names, and are probably 
Assyrians by descent, had become hostile to the Ninevite kings, 
and were engaged in frequent wars with them. No real permanent 
Bubjection of the Lower country to the Upper was effected till the 
time of Sargon;*3 and even under the Sargonid dynasty revolts 
were frequent ; nor were the Babylonians reconciled to the Assyrian 
Bway till Esar-haddon united the two crowns in his own person, and 
reigned alternately at the two capitals. Still it is probable that, 
from the time of Tiglathi-Nin, the Upper country was recognised as 
the superior of the two ; it had shown its might by a conquest and 
the imposition of a dynasty — proofs of power which were far from 
counterbalanced by a few retaliatory raids adventured upon under 
favourable circumstances by the Babylonian princes. Its influence 
was therefore felt, even while its yoke was refused ; and the Semi- 
tising of the Chaldasans, commenced under the Arabs, continued 
during the whole time of Assyrian preponderance." ** 

Tiglathi-Nin seems also to have extended his father's conquests 
to the north ; for the great Asshur-nasir'pal, of whom we have pre- 
sently to speak, mentions a tablet set up by him near the sources 
of the Tsupnatf or Eastern Tigris. His son, Ivalush IL, appears, 
from the genealogical tablet on which alone his name occurs, to 
have extended the Assyrian dominions still further. 

Tiglathi-Nin is the first Assyrian king for whom the cuneiform 
records give a date; for Sennacherib places him 600 years before his 
own capture of Babylon, which was in B.C. 702. This carries his 
reign back to about B.C. 1300, a date near enough to the epoch of 
the Sixth Dynasty of Berosus (e.g. 1270)." 

§ 15. The next great name in the Assyrian annals happens to be 
one having the same meaning, Tiglath-pileser (^Tiglath-palzira) L^ 

^ It must be remembered tbat tbe dynasties of Berosus are those of Kings of 

*' In the last twenty years of the 8th century b.c. 

^ Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies/ vol. ii. pp. 305, 306. 

^ Rawlinson gets over the difference by supposing that Sennacherib used a 
round number ; others take b.c. 1300 literally ; but, remembering that the epoch 
derived from Berosus is a part of a chronological tchemey we ought to be content 
with an approximation of 30 years. ^ See above, § 8. 


He has left os the earliest of that rooet interesting class of records, 
which maj tmlj be called Assyrian hook* — tablets, cylinders, or 
prisms of clay, covered with cuneiform inscriptions in a fine 
character, and then baked. Like books too, they were multiplied 
for use and preservation ; and thus our museum possesses two perfect 
copies, besides frapneuts of others, of the cylinders inscribed with 
the amials of the first five years of Tiglath-pileser's reign .*^ 

The genuineness of the inscription is attested by the statement it 
cootaiiis : " The list of my victories, &c., I have inscribed on my 
tablets and cylinders, and 1 have placed it [to remain] to the last days, 
in the temple of my lords, Anu and Iva." Its camj)ittetiess is testi- 
fied by the concluding invocation and curse on any who should 
destroy the records. The inscription gives the names and deeds of 
the king's four predecessors ; and his own name occurs again, with 
that of his father and son, in the often-quoted synchronistic tablet. 

Thus we have a second series of six kings in succession from 
father and son, and only separated from the former series by about 
20 years:* speaking roughly, they fill up the 12th century b.c. 
The first of these, Nin-pal-zira, is mentioned with a phrase which 
seems to mark the head of a dynasty. Asshur-dah-tl and Mutaggil- 
Aeio reigned prosperously, but not without rebellions; and Asshur- 
ris-iUm is styled "the powerful king, the subduer of rebellious 
countries, he who has reduced all the accursed." Among his 
enemies was the first Babylonian king who bore the name of Nabu' 

§ 16. The Annals of Tiglath-peleseb I. himself record the exten- 
sion of the Assyrian power over the whole region of Upper Mesopo- 
tamia and a large part of the mountains on its north. After invoking, 
as the guardians of his kingdom, the " great gods who rule over heaven 
and earth," Bel, Sin, Shamas, Iva, Nin, and Jshtar, ** the source of 
the gods, the queen of victory," and after a grandiloquent recital of his 
own royal titles •* — he relates the five campaigns in which he defeated 
the Muskai or Moschians, a mountain race in the Taurus or 

*^ This was the inscription which the Royal Asiatic Society propoeed to Major (now 
8ir Henry) Rawlinson, Dr. Hincks, Mr. Fox Talbot, and M. Oppert, as a test irf 
the principles of cuneiform interpretation ; and their agreement was aofficient to 
prove the general soondness of their methods. 

^ Bawlinson places them between b.c. 1210 and 1090. 

** Some details of this war are giTen by Bawlinson, ' Yvn Monarcluea,' toI. ii. 
p. 310. It is thought that there are indieations of his baring made war in 
Soothem Sjria and Palestine ; bat the attempt to identity him with the Choshaa- 
ri«hathaim of Judges iii. 8, teems to inTolre a miseoneeption of the relations 
between Assyria and Mesopotamia. It is perhaps more likely that Mesopotamia 
was tributary to Egypt, though little more tiian nominally. (See eh^. tL § 19.) 

** It is worth notice in oonnecti<m with pcnnts mentioned before that be de- 
scribes himself as **king of the people of variome tomgme»; king of the femr 
regunu;''* **the exalted sorereign, whose senrants Aashnr has appointed to tiie 
gotrmmtnt of the four regione.** Possibly this ma^mcsB sU the lands to tiie 
north, south, east, and west. 


Nlphates, and subdued Qwmmukh (Commagene), which they had 
overrun ; repulsed the KhaMi or Hittites from the Assyrian terri- 
tory ; carried his arms, on the one side into the mountains of 
Zagrus, and on the other, gained a great victory over the numerous 
tribes of the Nalri, taking 120 chariots, and driving them and their 
allies as far as the " Upper Sea,** which can only be the Mediter- 
ranean. The coincidence of the name of the Nairi with the Aram~ 
ndharaim of Scripture and the Naharayn of the Egyptian monu- 
ments marks this as the decisive subjugation of the Mesopota- 
mians west of the Khdbotir, together with their allies of Upper 
Syria, as far as the mouth of the Orontes. 

Turning next to the middle course of the Euphrates, he attacked 
the Aramasans, who occupied both banks of the river for some 250 
miles below Circesium, as far as the Tsukhi, the ShuhUes of Scrip- 
ture, whose country was between Andh and Hit, fle smote them 
''at one blow,** crossing the river on skins, and returned laden 
with plunder. This account sets in their true light a large pro- 
portion of the so-called conquests of the Assyrians — predatory 
excursions on a vast scale, to strike terror into hostile tribes, and to 
carry off slaves and booty to enhance the monarch's state at home. 

In the story of his last campaign, Tiglath-pileser has been 
thought by some to claim the conquest of Egypt ; but the name 
used, MiLsr or Musri, has two senses ; and it seems here to denote 
the forward ranges of Zagrus, between the Great Zab and the 
Eastern Khabour, the mountaineers of which had hitherto main- 
tained their independence, but were now subjected to tribute.** 

The whole result of the five campaigns is summed up as follows : 
** Thus fell into my hands altogether, between the commencement of 
my reign and my fifth year, forty-two countries, with their kings, 
from the banks of the river Zab to the banks of the river Euphrates, 
the country of the Rhatti, and the upper ocean of the setting sun. 
I brought them under one government; I took hostages from them, 
and I imposed on them tribute and offerings.** These phrases 
seem to warrant the assigning to Tiglath-pileser I. the first orga- 
nization of Ajssyiia as an empire ; and the record of his great works, 
as a builder and restorer of temples, proves his care for the national 

'^ That this Miuri was not Egypt is clear from the name of its capital Arin, 
and, besides, it is described as a mountainous country. The probabilities of an 
attack on Egypt by Assyria at this time would involve an interesting but some- 
what intricate discussion. It was just at this time that the Philistines and the 
Hittites were at the height of their power, thus barring the great military road ; 
and a conflict with these tribes, which must have occupied at least a whole 
campaign, would not have been passed over in so minute a record. Besides, the 
whole object of these campaigns was clearly to establish the Assyrian power 
within its natural limUSt the very limits assigned to the king's conquests in the 
final summary. The Egyptian records seem to show an alliance with Assyria 
about this time. See chap. vi. § 20. 



religion. The details given of his mode of warfare agree exactly with 
those vivid pictures in bas-relief with which the later kings delighted 
to line their palace halls, and which may now be perused by all like 
an open book, on the walls of the British and French museums. 
Rivers are crossed on skins, strongholds stormed, cities burnt, lands 
laid waste, a vast booty in cattle and treasure carried off; and, as for 
the people — we must not spoil the king's own words — " The ranks 
of their warriors, Bghting in the battle, were beaten down as if by 
the tempest Their carcases covered the valleys and the tops of the 
mountains. / cut off their heads. Of the battlements of their cities 
I made heaps *^ like mounds of earth. Their movables, their 
wealth, and their valuables I plundered to a countless amount. Six 
thousand of their common soldiers, who fled before my servants and 
accepted my yoke, I tftok and gave over to the men of my own terri- 
tory as slaves." 

Another set of representations in the royal pictures is illustrated 
by this narrative. The Assyrian kings had always a passion for the 
chase ; they were literally " mighty hunters ;" and Tiglath-pileser 
records his sporting achievements, just as his successors depicted 
theirs. " In the country of the Hittites, he boasts of having slain 
• four wild bulls, strong and fierce,' with his arrows ; while in the 
ueighbourhood of Harran, on the*banks of the ELhabour, he had killed 
ten large wild buffaloes, and taken four alive. These captured 
animals he had carried with him on his return to Asshar, his capital 
city, together with the horns and skins of the slain beasts. The lions 
which he had destroyed in his various journeys he estimates at 920 1 
All these successes he ascribes to the powerful protection of Nin 
and Nergal." ® This religious spirit pervades the whole inscription. 
The exactness of its date is tantalizing, from our ignorance of the 
way in which the year is marked. ** In the month Kuzalla (Chisleu), 
on the 29th day in the year, presided over by Jntt-iliya-pallik, the 
Babbi-Turi.'' " 

§ 17. But far more important than its exact date is the insight 
which this self-drawn full-length portrait of one of its earliest kings 
gives us into the character of the Assyrian empire, and her position 
among her neighbours about the end of the 12tb century b.c. 
'* She was a compact and powerful kingdom, centralized under a 
single monarch, and with a single great capital, in the midst of wild 
tribes, which clung to a separate independence, each in its own valley 
or village. At the approach of a great danger, these tribes might 
consent to coalesce and to form alliances, or even confederations ; but 

** Comp. Isaiah xxt. 2 ; Micah i. 6. 

** Rawlinaon, * Five Monarchies,* vol. ii. pp. 317, SI 8. On Asayiian hunting- 
scenes in general, see Layard's * Nineveh/ vol. ii. p. 431. 
** This is one of the eponymi^ whose names mark each ^eax. 


the federal tie, never one of much tenacity, and rarely capable of 
holding; its ground in the presence of monarchic vigour, was here 
especially weak. After one defeat of their joint forces by the Assyrian 
troops the confederates commonly dispersed, each flying to the defence 
of his own city or territory, with a short-sighted selfishness which de- 
served and ensured defeat. In one direction only was Assyria con- 
fronted by a rival state possessing a power and organization in cha- 
racter not unlike her own, though scarcely of equal strength. On her 
southern frontier the kingdom of Babylon was still existing ; its 
Semitic kings, though originally established u|x>n the throne by 
Assyrian influence, had dissolved all connection with their old 
protectors, and asserted their thorough independence."^ 

§ 18. The silence of the cylinder respecting Babylonia is partly 
compensated by two later records. The synchronistic tablet relates 
that he invaded the country in two successive years, wasting the 
** upper '* or northern districts, taking the frontier fort of Kur-galazu 
{Akkerkuf), Sippara, and Babylon itself, and returning down the 
Euphrates, where he took several cities of the Tsukhi. It appears to 
have been during this retreat that he was overtaken by the King Mero- 
dach-idin-akbi, who inflicted upon him some serious blow ; ** for 
Sennacherib records, in his celebrated rock inscription at Bavian^ 
near Khorsabad, his recovery of certain idols which had been carried to 
Babylon by Merodach-idin-akhi, who had taken them from Tiglath- 
pileser at Hekalm (probably near Tekrit). These idols had doubt- 
less been carried with the army (as the Hebrews took the ark against 
the Philistines) as a security for victory.'^ The fact that such objects 
of veneration and trophies of victory were not recovered for above 400 
years is significant of the strength of Babylon ; while the monuments 
of successive Assyrian kings testify their repeated efforts to subdue 
her. " A hostile and jealous spirit appears henceforth in the rela- 
tions between Assyria and Babylon ; we find no more intermarriages 
of the one royal house with the other ; wars are frequent, almost 
constant — ^nearly every Assyrian monarch whose history is known 
to us in detail conducting at least one expedition into Babylonia."*® 

§ 19. Tiglath-pileser I. has still one more claim to be regarded as 
the typical king of the old monarchy. The earhest specimen of 
Assyrian sculpture is a figure of this king in bas-relief, on the face 

6» Bawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. ii. p. 328. 

66 The liability of an Oriental army, when retreating carelessly, encumbered 
with its captives and plunder, to such an attack from a resolute pursuer is illus- 
trated by Abraham's pursuit and defeat of Chedorlaomer, which, in its turn, 
receives light from the case before us. 

*7 This supplies one of the leading chronological data. The Bavian inscrip- 
tion waa set up in Sennacherib's 10th year, b.c. 692, and he says that the idols 
were captured 418 years previously, which \>Tlngft\i* to b.c. 1110, probably just 
at the oloae of Tf^iath-pileaer's r^gn. ^ U&vs^iEAou. I. c. '^. %%^. 


of the natiTe rocks in a cavern near the eastern source of the Tigris 

— the memorial, prohahly.of theextent of his conquests in that direc- 

ticai. It represeuta the king in his sacerdotal dress, with the ripht 

arm extended, and the left hand grasping the sacrificial mace, and the 

rock bears the following inscription : " By the grace of Aashnr, 

Siiamas, and Iva, the Great Gods, I, I'iglath-pUrscr, King of 

Asajria, son of Assbur-ris-ilim, 

King of Assyria, who was the son 

of Mutaggil-Neho, King of Assyria, 

marching from the greitt sea of 

Akhiri, to the sea of JfaiVt, for the 

third time have invaded the country 

of the Nairi,"" The feet that this 

monument was sought for and 

fonnd, m consequence of the record 

of ita existence in this lery locality 

in aninscnptioQ of a later king (see 

p. S49} IS one of the experxmenta 

erucw of cuneiform science An 

other earlj specimen of sculpture 

the mutiU ted statu t. in our museum 

of the goddess Tahtar or Astartc, 

dales probably from the re gn of 

Aishur-bil kala, the son and sue 

cessor of li^jlath-pileser I 

§20 At the close of what 18 called 
" the Tiglath-pileser serif 
kings, the leading English autho- 
rities find a great gap of a century 
and a half, broken bj' only c 

and the Fienc)i writers place here the king who has been mentiuoea 
above aa having "established the authority of the later kings." They 
read bin name Bdkatirasaoa, and identify him with the Belitarat, 
governor of the royal gardens, who (according to the Gri ek writers) 
formed a conspiracy against his sovereign, and became the head 
of the new dynasty, which lasted in an unbroksn line to the end 
of the Old or Upper Empire. Whichever may be the correct view, 



But M. Oppert 

Bra ef Kairi ra Lakt 1 
lo«lil7 of ao monum 

n the Sta of A. 

It tban M 

-1 u the MidUtrranKm. snd t1i« 
eountty of the Nairi include. 11m 
lor Sswlmegn li rtght In glTlag 

AahW'SIaiaT, which hia been eBsigned to (hig jMrioit, 
Is recorered fiom an inuriptinn of ShalDianetec II. [the BIhcIc Obellak King), wbo 
HpealM of m sity Mv4dmu, on the right bank of ttiE Euphrates, vhicb had been 
taken, betOr« his time, bj Tfglath-pileeFi HIlA ABSh>iT-UuI>u, V.S,n^ lA. t>»T^A." 
, 'fire JUonsrclueg,' vol. il. p. S34, noUi. 



Book II. 

it is remarkable that this break in the Assyrian dynasty, indicating 
a diminution of its power, occurs at the very time when the wars 
of David and the splendid government of Solomon established a 
real empire of Israel up to the Euphrates itself; and when, also— 
towards the close of the interval — Rezon founded the Syrian king- 
dom of Damascus, which maintained a constant conflict against 
Assyria till the final triumph of the latter/^ It is also remarkable 
that, just when the power of Assyria was thus circumscribed on 
the west, we begin to find apparent traces of Assyrian influence in 
Egypt in the names of the kings of the 22nd Dynasty.'* And we 
can now see how the conquests of that dynasty in Palestine were 
facilitated by the internal troubles which weakened Assyria. 

Both sets of authorities come into agreement at the reign of 
Asshur-idin-akhif from whom the list of kings is complete (with 
only two or three cases of doubt) down to the end of the Upper 
Monarchy .'' But the flrst great name in this new series is that 
of a king who vies with Tiglath-pileser I. in his conquests, and 
the fulness of his annals, and far surpasses him in his architectural 
monuments. We suspend, till the next chapter, the mention of his 
name, as it is read in different ways. 

^^ These remarks are founded on the chronology calculated by the English 
authorities, who place the whole series of kings, from Asshur-idin-akhi to Asthw- 
lushf between b.c. 950 and 747. But the French writers (Oppert, Lenormant, &c.) 
place the same series just 40 years higher. ^ '' See above, chap. Til. § 6. 

" See the list in Rawlinson. 



The traditional site of Nineveh is marked 
by the mounds of Koyunjik and Nebbu 
TunuSf opposite Mosul. This was cer- 
tainly the Nineveh of Sennacherib; and It 
is tbe only one of the royal cities on the 
Tigris to which we Iiave as yet found the 
name distinctly applied by the Assyrians 
themselves. But we muttt not rush to the 
conclusion that this was either the ori- 
ginal or the only Nineveh. It may even 
be possible to reconcile tbe views of those 
who regard all tbe other royal cities as 
distinct from Nineveh and from each other, 
and of those (especially Mr. Layard) who 
include all the ruins from Nimrud to 
Koyunjik and Nebbi-Tumu under that 

Kileh-Sherghat lies too far south to be 
included; and KhortaJbad is expressly dis- 

tinguished by its founder, Sai^n, from 
Nineveh, to which it stood (as a royal 
residence) somewhat in the relation of 
Winder to London. 

(1) The primeval antiquity of Nineveh 
(by thai name) is attested both by Scrip- 
ture, and by the Egyptian records of the 
18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties ; that is, as 
early as the 15th century b c, long before 
the age of the Assyrian kings who had 
their capitals at Asshur (Kileh-Sherghat) 
and Calah (iVimrud). Mr. Layard observes 
that "there are now reasons for con- 
jecturing that the mound of Koyunjik 
covers the remains of edifices erected by 
some of the earliest Assyrian kings.' 
(• Smaller Nineveh and Babylon,' Introd. 

p. XXXV.) 

(2) Kings of the Old Assyrian Monarchy, 
residing at Calah (Nimrud), mention 
Nineveh. Especially the great " Nimrud 
King," As9hur'n<uir-pdl, speaks of carry- 
ing materials to his palace at Nineveh. 

Chap. XI. 



This may mean Nimrud (according to 
Mr. Layard'8 theory); but M. Place found 
» tablet of tbls same king at Km/wnjik,^ 
the only monument yet found there of a 
date earlier than Sennacherib. But it 
seems fixmi the inscriptions that palaces 
and temples were built at Nimrud at 
least two or three centuries before the 
north-west palace of this king, which is 
the most ancient edifice yet explored in 
that mound ; and the perfection of arts and 
mannfiEu^tnres found in that edifice points 
clearly to a long preceding progress. 

(3) Sennacherib records his restwatvm 
of Nineveh to be his royal city ; and de- 
scribes it as having a circuit of between 30 
and 40 miles. The site of his Nineveh is 
undoubtedly marked by the mounds oppo- 
site to Mosul ; but the extent of the re- 
mains of strong fortifications, which are 
still to be traced, is only 7i miles in circuit. 
This is quite large enough for the primi- 
tive city, which probably became the royal 
quarter. After this period, we still find 
the Assyrian kings, as Esar-haddon and 
the supposed last Ung (^Asshur-emid-xlin), 
building palaces at Nimrud. 

(4) All the mownds yet explored con- 
tain the rains solely of the royal pakuxt. 
Among the a4]aoent enclosures, defined by 
the remains of walls, and strewn with 
fragments of bricks and pottery, though 
large enough to mark &ir-6ized toums, 
such as would grow up round a royal resi- 
dence, none approaches to the description 
given by Sennacherib, nor to the statement 
that " Nineveh was an exceeding great city 
of three days' journey " — ^nor to that of 
" Nineveh, that great city, wherein are 
more than sixscore thousand persons that 
cannot discern between their right hand 
and their left hand" — which, interpreted 
as children, argues a population of 600,000 
— "and [also much cattle." (Jonah iii. 3 ; 
iv. 11). The last statement is important 
as indicating tliat Nineveh, like the eastern 
cities both of ancient and modem times, 
comprised vast open spaces. It is no im- 
probable inference, that the whole space 
from Nimrud to the mounds opposite 
Mosul was occupied by scattered buildings 
which connected the old towns and the new 
royal towns and readences, and were in- 
cluded in Nineveh in the widest sense. 

(5) But we must neither insist that the 
true specific moaning of Nineveh was this 
great assemblage of palaces, fortresses, 
towns, and scattered houses, nor confine^it 
to the enclosed space opposite Mosul; 
though probably the latter may have been 

its original sense. It is rather surprising 
that the disputants have not made more 
of the analogy of our own capital, 'llie 
name of London has been extended from 
the British village which crowned the hiU 
of St. Paul's to the Roman Londinium, 
which did not pass the Fleet valley ; thence 
to the "City,** which is about equal in 
area to Hyde Park ; and lastly to the vast 
aggregate of town and suburbs which 
grows year by year, and which (for some 
purposes) has a radius of 15 miles. 

Whether the name of Ninecth spread 
thus, or whether it was applied to the 
capital for the tim/e being; where was its 
original site, and how large its full jextent ; 
are questions too nice to be determined till 
further records are recovered from the 

(6) The city, which appears in one of 
the earliest chapters of the Bible, had dis- 
appeared before the time of the earliest 
Greek historians. Herodotus speaks of the 
Tigris as " the river upon which the city 
of Ninus (i.e. Nineveh^ formerly stood " 
(L 193) ; nor does he affect to describe the 
long i^nce perished city. Later writers, 
with more or less accuraqr, mention its 
position on the east bank of the Tigris, in 
Aturia, above the Lycus (^Greai ZaU), 
though Diodorus, professing to follow 
Ctesias, places it on the Euphrates ! The 
same writer gives a description of the city 
which, being merely traditional (and also 
in part doubtless imaginative) is of little 
value. It formed an obloug quadrangle of 
150 stadia by 90 (15 X 9 geographical 
miles), which far exceeds the measures 
given by Sennacherib, and makes an area 
about twice as large as London and its 
suburbs. Its walls were 100 feet high, 
and thick enough to allow three chariots 
to pass upon them; with 1500 towers, 200 
feet in height. These statements are the 
less incredible when we remember that the 
walls wore huge earthen embankments, 
faced only with masonry, such as we see in 
good preservation especially at Khorsabad. 
btrabo simply says that the city was 
larger than Babylon. 

(7) Traditions hung abont the neigh- 
bourhood for ages after the destruction of 
the city. The mounds which cover the 
ruined palaces were pointed out in ancient 
times as the tombs of Ninus and Sardana- 
palus ; and we have to notice the stories 
told to Mr. Layard about Nimrod and 
Asshur under the shadow of Nimrud, 
But the very name of Ninenth survived. 
Tacitus mentiona the ca^tnx^ Qn. \2q>k^ 



pMtblui Gl>U wu In the Uiw of GlsudJlu} 
ofmbe Nima. Tetnitlsilmii Kdea Aaj- 
tbt" In AdUbeue (Ann. lU. 13): Am- 
mlHU HucelllDua (Dt. »), uuki Julliin, 
■nenliona "ntoa Hlniu" in U» bu» 
dlitrict ; UK) ccim olst .of the leif^ sT 
CUudlii^ TT4fui» M4xlmin,uid Gordjaniu 
Fiu^ wlih tha legend, Barrt Cuunia- 
roua. Thiu then seenu to hive been 4 
ipedAc RoDUD JV^nndi ; bnt the name, 
Illce tbit of Bibflon, (ppeuD to hiTe 
mnder^ ftbontths neighbourhood ucard- 
'\e Importait 


B NlQUI w. 

(a) The pieralllDE RedlllonB of the 
Mohunmedaa age nltlmiitelj fixed on the 
(Its opposite jfivul. Tbim, Ibo Aihlr 
■paks of the fora at JVtotu^ to the east. 
tad of JfMiii to Ibe wesh of Ibe Tlgrla, Id 

the cuipalgiu of Atilallah Iha Ilo'etewH 
AA 1« (ui. til), ami of Otbeh Ibn Fu- 
Ittd, i^H. ao (iiu MIX qnoUdg from 
Btladlieri, la the umalD at Ibsae jean 
(RinllDBDD, ' At. Journal,' 18BC). In the 
Illh centuif, BenJnmiD of TndeU ipeBki 
p. tl, ed. AdieT, leio) ; and Abulfiw] 
noUcet It noder the name of Ainiie (' UliL 
Dynaal.' pp. 4IMW41); sea ahio hla ' Chn>- 
□lam.' p. ifty Iditif , Aasemuuii, In Ua 
account of tbe nilwJon of Salukah. the 

i.D, lUX vhen deecrlblDg Jfonl, ea;^ 

bla mlUe paaana." Q Btbl. Orient' toL 1 
p. b-uy. In the aune work of AatantiiDl 
are many noUcet ot Nineveh aa a ChrliUan 
blohoprlc, first under tbe metropollt&n of 
Uoeal, and eaheeiinentl; under the blehop 
of Aiijria end AdUbene (' mbl. Orient.' 

The Mound of Ximnul. 


B.C. 886-746. 

§ 1 . The two $erie$ of meen kings of the Old and Kew Empire. Ambua-kasikf-pal. 
§ 2. Aeconnt of the recent AMyrian dieooreriee. M. Botta'f Diseoreriee at 
Kkor$abad. § 8. Mr. Layard'a diaooreriea at ITimrud, Calah. Description 
ef the North' West Palace ot As8hnr>na«ir-paL § 4. Plan of the palace. Ia- 
flcriptiana, wiUi the king's annala. § 5. Hie tittea on his statue. Beeords of 
his eonqnests. His hunting exploits. § 6. His has-Telie£i in the British 
Museum. Witnesses tothe cruel deqx>tism of Assyria. § 7. Excellent art of 
the senlptnres. Use of colour. Other objects — ^bowls — ^irory-tablets — ^weights, 
fligns of Egyptian and I^tmieian work. § 8. The temples and tiggwrat of 
Jfimrud, Canal and Tunnel of ITegoub, § 9. Description of his capital of 
Calah. His works at GUhSherghat. § 10. SHAUCAjrxsEn II.» the ** Blaek 
ObeUsk King.'* His "Central Palace" at Mmrud, Description of hia 
Obelisks. § 11. Belations of Assyria to Syria and IsraeL Mention of Ben^ 
hadad and Ahab, Hazael and Jehu, on Shalmaneser's monuments. § 12. His 
other campaigns. § 18. BebeUkm of his dder son ; patdownbySHAXAs-lTA. 
Campaigns of this Ung. § 14. Ita-Lvsh IV. His palace at Kinereh (in the 
Nebii-Tumu mound). Extent of his dominion. | 15. His power in Baby- 
lonia. His queen Sammuramit (Semiramis). { 16. Doubtful period of 
about 40 years. SnAUfAirxsKn HL and his two successors. § 17. Signs of 
disturbance and rerolt. Probable independence of Babylon at the Era of 
Nabona$$ar. § 18. Question eonceniing the Pui. of Scripture. 

1 1. We have seen the kingdom of AsByria grow into an empire ; 
and we have reached the point from Which we can follow both its 
history and chronology with tolerable certainty. The greatness of 
the empire may be divided into two nearly equal periods of Iqia \S&363^ 


a century and a half,^ each comprising seven kings — the first seven 
belonging to the old empire, the last to the new. 

The records of the first of these kings, named (as we shall pre- 
sently see) AssHUR-NAsiR-PAL, have only been revealed within the 
last quarter of a century ; and their interest, and that of the whole 
' history of Assyria, is enhanced by their connection with one'of the 
most startling of modem historical discoveries. 

§ 2. Among the eastern travellers who had been possessed with 
the desire to explore those vast mounds upon and near the Tigris 
— in the neighbourhood where Nineveh was known to have stood — 
which local tradition: set down as the works of Nimrod, Mr. (now 
the Eight Hon.) Austen Hbnby Layabd had been especially 
fascinated by those within the angle formed by the Tigris and 
Great Zab, to which the name of Nimrud was specifically given. 
While seeking for means to explore them, his zeal was quickened by 
the success of M. Botta, who, after some mere gleanings at Koyun- 
jik (which afterwards proved to be on the site of Nineveh itself) in 
1842, had turned his attention to Khorsdbad^ and had there dis- 
covered an Assyrian edifice, " the first, probably, which had been 
exposed to the view of man since the fall of the Assyrian empire." ^ 

The impression made by this first discovery ought not to be oblite- 
rated by the flood of knowledge since acquired. " He (M. Botta) soon 
found that he had opened a chamber, which was connected with 
others, and constructed of slabs of gypsum,^ covered with sculptured 're- 
presentations of battles, sieges, and similar events. His wonder may 
easily be imagined. A new history had been suddenly opened upon 
him — the records of an unknown people were before him. He was 
equally at a loss to account for the age and the nature of the mdhu- 
ment. The art shown in the sculptures — the dresses of the figures — 
their arms, and the objects which accompanied them — were all new 
to him, and afforded no clue to the epoch of the erection of the edifice, 
and to the people who were its founders. Numerous inscriptions 
were cut between the bas-reliefs, and evidently contained the expla- 
nation of the events thus recorded in sculpture. The nature of 

* Namely, from b.c. 886 to b.c. 746, 140 years ; and from b.c. 746 to 625, 121 
years. But if we were to take the date of b.c. 606 for the fall of Nineveh, both 
periods would be exactly equal, namely, 140 years. < 

2 The edifice was completely uncovered in 1845. See Layard, * Nineveh and 
its Remains,' vol. i. pp. 10, seq. We still speak of the site of Sargon's capital as 
Khorsabad; but the village of that name was purchased and removed by M. 
Botta, in order to excavate the mound on which it stood. The name is probably 
from Khoraau-ahad . (the abode of Khosroea)^ one of those Persian names which 
many of the villages in this part of Assyria have obtained from their vicinity to 
the mountains of Kurdistan. 

8 The reader should bear in mind that the bas-reliefs in the Assyrian buildings 
are for the most part of the gypsum and alabaster found in the neighbourhood. 
eome are of Umeatone, 


these inscriptions afforded, at least, evidence that the building was of 
a period preceding the conquest of Alexander ; for it was generally 
admitted that, after the subjugation of the west of Asia by the Mace- 
donians, the cuneiform writing ceased to be employed. But too little 
was then known of this chai^cter to enable M. Botta to draw any 
inference from the peculiar arrangement of the wedges, which dis- 
tinguishes the varieties used in different countries. However, it was 
evident that the monument appertained to a very ancient and very 
civilized people ; and it was natural, from its position, to refer it to 
the inhabitants of Nineveh, a city which, although it could not have 
occupied a site so distant from the Tigris, must have been in the 
vicinity of the place." It turned out that Mr. Layard's attention 
was fixed as much too far south as M. Botta*s was too far north, but 
with the happy result, not only of converging upon the true Nine- 
veh, but discovering two others of the great capitis of Assyria. 

§ 3. It was in 1845 that Mr. Layard was at length enabled* to 
begin his explorations at Nimrud ; and the Arab Sheikh, who first 
received the traveller into his hut, gave a curious foretaste of his 
success. " The palace," said he, " was built by Athub, the kiaydh, 
or lieutenant, of Nimeod :" — that very Nimrod, " out of whose land 
went forth Asshub, and builded . . . Caldh.^^ ^ Such is the wondrous 
tenacity of tradition, for the mounds of Nimrud were soon found to 
contain the ruins of Calah. 

Those who love to see results enlivened by the processes which 
unfold them can read in Mr. Layard's first book * the steps by which 
he realized — and has enabled us to realize, not only by description, 
but by the objects in our Museum — those " visions of palaces under- 
ground, of gigantic monsters, of sculptured figures, and endless 
inscriptions," which " floated before his excited brain " that night. 
Our present concern is with one building which he discovered — that 
one of the four palaces built on the platform already mentioned ^ as 
marking the royal quarter of Calah, which is called the " North- 
Western Palace." First, to see its present state, as an example of 
the royal ruins of Assyria, let us follow the explorer, abridging as 

* Writing these paragraphs tinder the conviction that a history of ancient 
Assyria would be wanting in completeness and interest without some account of 
the history of these discoveries, we feel equally bound to repeat Mr. Layard's 
grateful acknowledgment to the one man who first supplied the means. ** It is 
to Sir Stratford Caknino " (Lord Stratford de Redclyffe) " we are mainly indebted 
for the collection of Assyrian monimients with which the British Museum will be 
(is now) enriched ; without his liberality and public spirit the treasures of Nimrud 
would have been reserved for the enterprise of those who have appreciated the 
value and importance of the discoveries at Khorsabad." 

^ Genesis x. 11, 12. Here we see the name of Asshur preserved in the same 
form as the Greek name of the province, Aturia. 

< 'Nineveh and its Remains,* 2 vols. ^849. Abridged edition |n 1 vol., 18G7. 

7 See above, chap. xi. § 9. 


we go. "I would wish " — nja Ur. lajari, in recapitulating his 
Aitcovenet — "before leaviDg Nimnidand re-bi]r;iiig* its paUces, I 

t:,[iui ot Ehe MoBDil of Nhnnid. B' 

would vish to lead the reader once more through the ruins of tha 
prindpal edifice, and to convey as distinct an idea as I am able of 

m the ttmoBphGrfl 

/. Bota erambled Auter Ehau the; coDld tie copicil. 


the excavated halls and chambers, as they appeared when fully ex- 
plored. On approaching the mound, not a trace of building can be 
perceived," and so forth of the external appearance of the mounds. 
" By a flight of steps rudely cut into the earth, near the western face 
of the mound, we descend about twenty feet, and suddenly find our- 
selves between a pair of colossal lions, winged and human-headed, 
forming a portal. Before those wonderful forms Ezekiel, Jonah, and 
others of the prophets stood, and Sennacherib bowed. Leaving behind 
us a small chamber, in which the sculptures are distinguished by a 
want of finish in the execution and considerable rudeness in the 
design of the ornaments, we issue from between the winged lions and 
enter the remains of the principal hall. On both sides of us are 
sculptured gigantic winged figures, some with the heads of eagles, 
others entirely human, and carrying mysterious symbols in their 
hands. To the left is another portal, also formed by winged lions. 
One of them has, however, fallen across the entrance, and there is 
just room to creep beneath it. Beyond this portal is a winged, figure, 
and two slabs with bas-reliefs ; but they have been so much injured 
that we can scarcely trace the subject upon them. Further on there 
are no traces of walls, although a deep trench has been opened. The 
opposite side of the hall has also disappeared, and we only see a high 
wall of earth. On examining it attentively, we can detect the marks 
of masonry, and we soon find that it is a solid structure, built of 
bricks of unbaked clay, now of the same colour as the surrounding 
soil, and scarcely to be distinguished from it. The slabs of alabaster, 
fallen from their original position, have, however, been raised, and 
we tread in the midst of a maze of small bas-reliefs, representing 
chariots, horsemen, battles, and sieges. 

** Having walked about one hundred feet amidst these scattered 
monuments of ancient history and art, we reach another doorway, 
formed by gigantic winged bulls in yellow limestone. One is still 
entire, but its companion has fallen and is broken into several pieces ; 
the great human head is at our feet. We pass on, without turning 
into the part of the building to which this portal leads. Beyond it 
we see another winged figure, holding a graceful flower in ite hand, 
and apparently presenting it as an offering to the winged bull. 
Adjoining this sculpture we find eight fine bas-reliefs. There is the 
king, hunting and triumphing over the lion and wild bull ; and the 
siege of the castle, with the battering-ram. We have now reached 
the end of the hall, and find before us an elaborate and beautiful 
sculpture, representing two kings, standing beneath the emblem of 
the supreme deity, and attended by winged figures ; between them is 
the sacred tree. In front of this bas-relief is the great stone platform 
upon which, in days of old, may have been placed the throne of the 
Assyrian jnonarch, when ^he received his captiye enemies or his 


courtiers. To the left of us is a fourth outlet from the hall, formed 
by another pair of lions. We issue from between them and find 
ourselves on the edge of a deep ravine, to the north of which rises, 
high above us, the lofty pyramid. Figures of captives bearing objects 
of tribute — ear-rings, bracelets, and monkeys — ^may be seen on walls 
near this ravine ; and two enormous bulls, and two winged figures 
above fourteen feet high, are lying on its very edge. 

" As the ravine bounds the ruins on this side, we' must return 
to the yellow bulls. Passing through the entrance formed by them, 
we enter a large chamber, surrounded by eagle-headed figures: 
at one end of it is a doorway, guarded by two priests or divinities, 
and in the centre another portal with winged bulls. Whichever 
way we turn, we find ourselves in the midst of a nest of rooms ; 
and without an acquaintance with the intricacies of the place, we 
should soon lose ourselves in this labyrinth. The accumulated 
rubbish being generally left in the centre of the chambers, the 
whole. excavation consists of a number of narrow passages, panelled 
on one side with slabs of alabaster, aaid shut in on the other by a 
high wall of earth, half buried in which may here and there be «een 
a broken vase, or a brick painted with brilliant colours. We may 
wander through these galleries for an hour or two, examining the 
marvellous sculptures, or the numerous inscriptions, that surround 
us. Here, we meet long rows of kings, attended by their eunuchs 
and priests ; there, lines of winged figures, carrying fir-cones and 
religious emblems, and seemingly in adoration before the mystic 
tree. Other entrances, formed by winged lions and bulls, lead 
us into new chambers : in every one of them are fresh objects 
of curiosity and surprise. At length, wearied, we issue from the 
buried edifice by a trench on the opposite side to that by which we 
entered, and find ourselves again upon the naked platform. We 
look around, in vain, for any traces of the wonderful remains 
we have just seen, and are half inclined to believe that we have 
dreamed a dream, or have been listening to some tale of Eastern 
romance. Some who may hereafter tread on the spot where the 
grass again grows over the ruins of the Ajssyrian palaces may 
indeed suspect that I have been relating a vision." * 

§ 4. The ground-plan of the palace may be described in a word as 
consisting of a great central court, open to the sky (about 130 ft. by 
100 ft.), surrounded by six large galleries and many small square 
rooms, opening into one another ; the galleries being remarkable for 
the length and narrowness of their proportions : the largest, which 
appears to have been the throne room, is more than 170 ft. long by 
less than 35 ft. wide. The whole buildmg was 360 ft. long by 

? Laprd, 'Nineveh ^nd its Remains,* vol. ii. pp. 109-114. 



SOO ft. vide. The one o( the miaUer efaambera, whidi was fint 
dfscoveTod, wu lined with alab* of ftlmbftBter, about 8 ft. high, and 
from 6 to 4 fL in bretdtb, niwcniptared, bnt with the same inacrip- 
tion of aboDt 20 lines on the nuddle of each slab ; and even the 
fllabe of the pavement were ■imilari)' insribeil, DOt only on tbeir 
tipper but on their nnder sarfaixs, which had alw tTansrerred a c»»t 
of the writing to the asphalt bedding of the floor. From il« repeti- 
tion in variouB parts of the building, this ioscripliun ia called " the 

Flu of FtlBca Df Aobnr-DwTrpsL 

Standaid Inscription of Kimrnd." Another remarkable inscription 
ia engmred (acoonUng to the Assyrian fashion) across a figure 
of the monarch, vhich U sculptured in low relief within an arched 
receMjOnonesideof the entrance to the temple of Nin, which he built 
at Nimmd. The divine emblems over his head, and the triai^ular 
altar in front of the fignrsj shew that the king was woishipped." 
It is in this inscription that he mentions hia hnilding of the palace 
now described, which had been founded hy Shalmaneser T., bat 
allowed to go tomin. A third important inscription iaon an obelisk 

» & riinllar lUta of tMs kin^ wu Itmad nctr JHarMCTj anA Ifl now In our 
Hninim. It vutlit mrationln hit umali of theerntion of ttalsmonnment Deu 
that or TlgUtta-plUMT ttikt led M tbB dluanry of bolti, u aboTe itated. 


in white stone, also found at Nimrnd, and now in the British 
Museum. It is twelve or thirteen feet high, on a hase of 2 feet hy 
less than 14 inches, and in shape similar to the black obelisk which 
has given to this king's son the name of the " Black Obelisk Eiug." 
It is covered with a detailed record of his exploits in war and the 
chase, which are also related in his other inscriptions. The fullest 
of all these annals is that on an immense monolith slab, which 
formed the threshold of the temple just mentioned. 

§ 5. The king's name was at first read Asshur-idanni-pal ; a form 
which seemed to give the startling result that the original Sardana^ 
palus (or at least one of the kings who bore that name) was the 
mightiest and most splendid monarch of the Old Dynasty : the 
Sardanapahis whom the Greeks called, by way of distinction, 
**Sardanapalus the Conqueror." But we are now told that the true 
name is Asshub-nasib-pal, that is, Asshur protects (my or his) 
8on,^ Across the breast of his statue we read his style and titles, 
and the extent of his empire : — ** Asshur-nasir-pal, the great king, 
the powerful king, king of hosts, king of Assyria; — the son of 
Tiglath-pUeser, the great king, the powerful king, king of hosts, 
king of Assyria ; — the son of Ivorlushf the great king, the powerful 
king, king of Assyria.^^ He possessed the countries from the banks 
of the Tigris to Lebanon : he subjected to his power the great seas, 
and all the lands from the rising to the setting of the sun." 

This comprehensive claim is definitely explained by the narrative 
of the ten campaigns which he made in his first six years, and 
which it is the less necessary to describe as they extend nearly over 
the same ground as those of Tiglath-pileser I. ; though they were 
somewhat wider and probably more complete. Thus, to the north- 
east, in the mountains of Kurdistan and Armenia, he claims to have 
penetrated to a region " never approached by the kings, his fathers." 
Several expeditions were made into the mountains of Armenia and 
of Zagrus. Mesopotamia had to be reconquered, and the boundary 
along the middle Euphrates recovered. Here he built two cities, 
naming that on the right bank after the god Asshur, and that on the 
left bank after himself.^ From Northern Mesopotamia he made an 
invasion of Syria, the account of which is extremely interesting, 

1^ M. Oppert prefers this form, on grammatical grounds, to Sir H. Bawlinson's 
latest reading, Asshur -dzir-pal ; but both agree in the sense. 
» 12 There is nothing strange in finding the father of the king called by a 
name which we have seen to be equivalent in meaning to Jiglathi-Nin : and 
indeed the reading of the last syllable in the latter form of the name is doubt^il. 
In his great historical inscription, the king styles himself the son of liglcUhi'Ninip 
(= Tiglathi-Nin), son of Iva-lush (or Vtd-lush), son of Asshw-dan^, 

1* One of these cities may have been the " Tel- Asshur {Telassar or Thelasar\" 
in which " dwelt the children of Eden^" when they were conquered by Sennacherib 
(2 Kings xix. 12 ; Isaiah zxvii. 12) ; for we find the peoplp Beth-Adina among 
hioae on the Euphrates subdued by AJsshur-nasir-pal. 


Gavcbemish, on the Enphrates, once the stronghold of Egypt, was 
taken from the HUtUes ; and the king, having traversed the skirts 
of Lebanon and the valley of Orontes, and ofifered sacrifice on the 
shore of the Mediterranean, received the snhroission of the chief 
cities of Phoenicia — ^Tyre, Sidon, Byblns, and Aradus are distinctly 
named — and reached the Amanns, where he set up a sculptured 
memorial, and cut timber, which was conveyed to Nineveh, The 
white obelisk already mentioned appears to have been set up on his 
return from this expedition ; and the visitor to our Museum sees 
at this day the beautiful grain of the cedar used in the Assyrian 
palaces.'^ As in the annals of Tiglath-pileser, the records of the 
chase are given with as much minuteness as those of war ; and the 
king had a park, stocked with wild animals (like the '* paradise" 
of a Persian prince),** the supply of which was kept up by tributes 
and presents.^ 

{ 6. Both sets of exploits are illustrated by that w5nderful series 
of bas-reliefs — wonderiful for their artistic execution, their exact 
details, and their vivid reality — which Mr. Layard has brou^t, 
partly from the principal gallery of the North-West Palace of Nim- 
rud, and partly from the two adjacent temples. Wonderful, most 
of all, is the impression which is received from a perusal of the 
scenes on the walls of the ** Nimmd Gallery," and the accompnnying 
•*Koyunjik Gallery" (of the age of Sennacherib and his successor) 
in ihe British Museum, concerning the true character of this type of 
Oriental despotisms. All breathes the spirit of Nimrod, the 
^mighty htrnter," both of men and beasts; and all — if we may be 
allowed so to turn the Hebrew intensive phrase — is done ** before 
the Lord" — by the help and to the greater glory of those gods 
whose name — whether true or false — ^has ever been invoked to 
sanctify the excesses of a despot's cruel will. Everywhere the king; 
with the emblem of divinity often hovering above him, rides down 
his foes, bends his bow against their battlements, or receives their 
abject submission, which is rewarded with torture and death. No 
detail is spared, of the carnage of the battle-field, or the cruelties 
infiicted on the prisoners. In one place, headless corpses, or con- 
vulsed wretches pierced with spears and arrows, are floated down 
the stream (for most of the battle-scenes and sieges are upon the 

^* The section of tlie wood has been reeenlly poUahed to show it* grain and ita 
aoundneaa. The ** cedar work ** ot- the Assyrian palaces \$ mentioned by Zepba- 
niah (iL 14). 

M Xenopb. * Anab/ i. 4, 10 ; <Cyr.' i. 8, § 14, ftc. 

>* Thns the Pbcenicians sent aninuds called pag&ii, sopposed by some to be 
elephants ; [and the elephant is presented to the life on the *< Black Obelisk ** of this 
king's son. * There are special records of this king's hunting exploits on the broken 
obelisk, and on the altar in front of his diTine elBgy. The mention of the eroeodUe 
on the broken obelisk does notprore the gift to be fhm Egypt. - 


banks of a nvfir) 'J^ in another the >6cribes are counting the heads as 
they are laid before the king. 

And these pictures are the faithful illustrations of his annals. 
In his first campaign a captive chief of the Kirkhi, on the Upper 
Tigris, was carried to Arbela, and there flayed and hung- up upon 
the town wall. In the second, a rebellious city on the Euphrates 
was given up to plunder ; and some of the ringleaders were burnt, 
others crucified, and the rest mutilated of their ears and noses ; pro- 
ceedings summed up in a phrase— "while the king was arranging 
these matters " — ^which reminds us of Caesar^s " his rebus compositis" 
The king's own words are needed to do justice to his treatment 
of another revolted city : — " Their men, young and old, I took 
prisoners. Of some I cut off the feet and hands ; of others I cut 
off the noses, ears, and lips ; of the young men's ears I made a 
heap ; of the old men's heads I built a minaret. I exposed their 
heads as a trophy in front of their city. The male children and the 
female children I burnt in the flames. The city I destroyed and 
consumed and burnt with fire." Such boasts, illustrated by such 
pictures, reveal the self-confessed character of the Assyrian empire : 
and, if the first feeling excited by these monuments is admiration 
at the recovery of a lost chapter in the history of nations, the next 
is a renewed sympathy with the prophets who denounced such 
an empire, and a confirmation of that unmitigated hatred of all 
despotism which is one of the best lessons taught by history, 

§ 7. These sculptures from the North-West Palace of Nimrud are 
in the best style of Assyrian art, which — as in the case of Egypt — 
is most truthful and vigorous in its earliest examples. In the human 
figures the profiles are sharply outlined and most expressive, the 
limbs are delineated with peculiar accuracy, and the muscles and 
bones are faithfully, though somewhat too strongly, marked. The 
composition, though sometimes grotesque through the want of per- 
spective — for which, indeed, bas-relief does not give much scope — 
is very expressive and animated ; the pictures clearly tell their own 
story. The scenes of battle and siege, with all the appliances of 
moveable towers and battering-rams, the testudo and terehra, seem 
in real action ; and there is a lion-hunt, which is pronounced, by 
so good a judge as Mr. Layard, to be — " from the knowledge of art 
displayed in the treatment and composition, the correct and effective 
delineation of the men and animals, the spirit of the grouping, and 
its extraordinary preservation — ^probably the finest specimen of Assy- 
rian art in existence." These earlier bas-reliefs show few traces of 

^^ In seyeral cases, this riyer is doabtlass meant for the Euphrates, in others for 
the Upper Tigria, One of the most carious scenes represents fugitives swimming 
a riyer on inflated skins, to gain their fortress on the ftirther bank. 


eoUnvr^ and those entirely local and distinctive, as on the hair, beard, 
and eyes, on the sandals and bows, on the tongues of the eagle-headed 
figures, and very faintly on a garland round the head of a winged 
priest, and on the representation of fire in the bas-relief of a siege. 

But the colours as well as forms of the painted bricks and fresco 
ornaments on the walls are perfect models of good taste ; as are also 
the patterns on the robes of the figures ; and the engravings, both 
geometrical and of men and animals, on a large number of bronze 
bowls ; and the carvings on tablets of ivory ; from this N.W. Palace. 
Many of the ivories are gilt, and quantities of gold leaf were found 
among the ruins. The bowls and ivories are also remarkable for 
their unmistakably Egyptian patterns ; and there are other Egyptian 
objects, as the ^cardhixvA and the crux a/Mota (or ring-handled cross). 
There is also a collection of bronze weights, inscribed with their 
values, both in cuneiform and in Phoenician characters — " 2, 3, 5, 
&C., manahs of the country," " 2 shekels," " one-fifth," and so forth ; 
which seem to indicate commercial dealings with Phoenicia. 

These, with many minor objects of art and luxury, as well as those 
depicted on the sculptures, prove the great progress already made by 
the Assyrians in manufactures : — such as " the metallurgy which 
produced the swords, sword-sheaths, daggers, ear-rings, necklaces, 
armlets, and bracelets of this period; the coach-building which 
constructed the chariots, the saddlery which made the harness of 
the horses, the embroidery which ornamented the robes : " — ^all, 
in short, proves that "the Assyrians were already a great and 
luxurious people, that most of the useful arts not only existed 
among them but were cultivated to the highest pitch, and that in 
dress, furniture, jewellery, &c., they were not very much behind 
the modems." " 

§ 8. Besides the North- West Palace, Asshur-nasir-pal built the two 
temples (already incidentally referred to) at the north-west comer of 
the platform. Adjoining to one of these, and standing out from the 
angle of the platform, was the high tower (or ziggurat), the ruins of 
which form the celebrated pyramid (or rather conical mound) of Nim- 
ntd,^ It appears to have been a royal mausoleum, b^un by Asshur- 
nasir-pal, and finished by his son, Shalmaneser II. ** Its basement," 
says Mr. Layard, '* was encased with massive masonry of stone, re- 
lieved by recesses and other architectural omaments. The upper part, 
built of brick, was most probably painted, like the palaces of Babylon, 
with figures and mythic emblems. Its summit I conjecture to have 
consisted of several receding gradines, like the top of the black obe- 
lisk, and I have ventured to crown it with an altar, on which may 

'• Bawlinson, * Five Monarcliies,' toI. ii. p. 353. 

i> Respecting the Atwyrian zigguratt in general, see chap. X7i. § 16. 


have burnt the eternal fire." ** To these works of state and religion 
may be added one of utility, the Canal, which not only supplied the 
city with water, but appears to have irrigated the whole country in 
the angle between the Tigris and the Great Zab. It is named as the 
work of Asshur-nasir-pal, both in his annals and on the tablet set up 
in the tunnel of Negouh (the hole), through which it was originally 
supplied from the Zab.'^ 

§ 9. All these works indicate the establishment or renewal by 
Asshur-nasir-pal of a new royal residence at Nimrud, which the 
inscribed bricks and the king's own record of its building identify 
with Galah. " Here, in a strong and healthy position, on a low spur 
from the Jehel Makluh, protected on either side by a deep river, the 
new capital grew to greatness. Palace after palace rose on its lofty 
platform, rich with carved woodwork, gilding, painting, sculpture, and 
enamel, each aiming to outshine its predecessors ; while stone lions, 
sphinxes, obelisks, shrines, and temple-towers embellished the scene, 
breaking its monotonous sameness by variety. The lofty ztggurat 
attached to the temple of Nin (or Hercules), dominating over the 
whole, gave unity to the vast mass of palatial and sacred edifices. The 
Tigris, skirting the entire western base of the mound, glassed it in its 
waves, and, doubling the apparent height, rendered less observable the 
chief weakness of tlie architecture. When the setting sun lighted up 
the whole with the gorgeous hues seen only under an Eastern sky, 
Galah must have seemed to the traveller who beheld it for the first 
time like a vision from fairy land." ^ The old residence of Asshur was 
not, however, deserted by this king and his successors. Besides 
various notices of it in his annals, its repairs are mentioned on the 
truncated obelisk which records his hunting exploits in Syria ; ^ and 
the remarkable statue of his son, Shalmaneser H., seated on a throne 
covered with inscriptions — ^a monolith in black basalt, now in the 
British Museum— was found at Kileh'Sherghat. 

§ 10. This Shalmaneser II., the " Black Obelisk King," is con- 
spicuous in the Assyrian annals for the length of his 35 years' reign 

*® Layard, * Nineveh and Babylon,* p. 653. 

J^ This Btone was unfortunately broken before the inscription could be properly 
copied. For a fUll description of the canal see Layard, * Ninereh,' vol. i. pp. 80, 
81 ; Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. ii. p. 195, 196. 

22 Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. ii. p. 857. Mr. Fergusson has ventured 
on a restoration of the river front of the palaces of Calah. (See the frontispiece 
to Layard's * Monuments of Nineveh.') Even to tbe present day the pyramid 
grives a picturesque unity to the long line of the Nimrud mounds. (See the 
vignette to this chapter.) It is worthy of particular notice that this king speaks 
of conveying materials to JfineveJi—a, strong argument for either extending that 
name so as to include Calah, or regarding it as the name of the Assyrian capital 
/or the time being. See note A to chapter xi. 

*8 This is tbe obelisk of which we have only the upper part (in tbe British 
Museum). Both this and the fragments of his other broken obelisk were found 
at Koywyikf having unquestionably been removed thither from KUeh-Sherghat^ 
mccording to thi practice of the later kings. 


(B.a 858-823),^ the interesting nature of his principal monuments, 
and the mention on them, for the first time, of kings of Israel and 
Syria, whose names occur in Scripture. The chronicles of Israel and 
Judah, according to their plan, mention no king of Assyria till one 
exacts a tribute, and another makes a conquest, in the land itscdf, 
about a century later; but the annals of Shalmaneser show the 
beginning of the process by which the conquest of the great Syrian 
kingdom of Damascus prepared the way for the first captivity of the 

This king, not content with his father's palace, built another in 
the centre of the Nimrud platform ; and it was afterwards rebuilt 
almost entirely by a later king, probably Tiglath-pileser II. But 
the edifice was so utterly destroyed by Esar-haddon, who used the 
materials in the construction of the S.W. Nimrud palace, that even 
the plan can no longer be traced. Amidst a few gleanings of slabs 
Mr. Layard found two gigantic winged bulls — gatekeepers, like those 
in the older palace — and one of the most precious monimients of 
Assyria. This is the celebrated Obelisk, in black marble, smaller 
than the white obelisk of the king's father, but of finer material and 
workmanship.^ This obelisk was found on its side, 10 feet below 
the surface, and now stands erect in the middle of the " Nimrud 
Saloon " of our Museum. It may be called an illustrated history of 
the twentynseven campaigns of Shalmaneser ; the upper half being 
occupied by twenty bas-reliefs in sunken compartments, five on each 
face ; and the lower half, as well as the spaces between the reliefs, and 
the gradines at the top, being covered with the cuneiform text. The 
minute letters of the inscription are sharply cut, and the whole is in 
the best state of preservation. The bas-reliefs represent the king 
receiving the tribute of five nations, each nation filling the four com- 
partments in one horizontal row.** " The gifts brought are, in part, 

^ This is the longest reign of any Assyrian king, and is only exceeded by the 
43 years of the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar. Iva-lush lY., Shalmaneser's 
grandson, reigned 29 years ; but no other monarch in Ptolemy's list mnch exceeds 
20 years. (Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies/ toI. ii. p. 857, note.) The name of this 
king has been yariously read as JHvanuhar or Divanubraf and Shalmanvbar ; but 
the best authorities are now agreed on Shalmaneser, M. Oppert makes him 
the 5th (instead of the 2nd) of the name. 

^ The Black Obelisk is about 7 feet high, and 22 inches wide on the broader 
side of the base: the other is 12 or 13 feet high and 2 feet wide at the base. 
The shattered obelisk of Asshur-nasir-pal (not the one merely broken in half) most 
have been larger still, for its area at top was 2 feet 8 inches by nearly 2 feet, 
implying a height of from 15 to 20 feet. Both obelisks taper slightly, and are 
terminated at top by 3 steps, or gradines, instead of the pyramidion of the Egyptian 
obelisks. By this difference, and that of the section (the Egyptian being square, 
the Assyrian oblong), the Assyrian obelisk seems to be marked as a natire form. 
The truncated obelisk has 2 gradines ; the termination of the other broken one is 

'« To this there is one exception. The first compartment of the bottom row 
seems to belong not to the fifth nation, but to the first or second. 



objects carried in the hand— :golc!, BilTer, copper in bars and cubes, 
gohleta, elephants' tnskB, tissues, and the like — in part, animals, such 
as horses, camels, monkeys and baboons of different kinds, stags, 
lioDS, wild bulls, antelopes, and — sttangest of all — the rhinoceros and 
the elephant."*' The first impression produced by the sight of tbesa 

Slack Obellik, fri 

animals and of the tno-humped Bactrian camel — that there may, 
after all, be some truth in the Bactrian and Indian wars of Niuus 
and Semiramis — is corrected by the enumeration of the five nations. 
The first of these is Isbaei,, of whom more presently ; the second are 
the people of Kirzan, on the borders of Armenia, whicli still retains 
the name ; the central tow represents the Muzri, in northern Knr- 

" B«*liD«>ii, ' File UaoucUu,' ml. il. p. S67. 


ditlan ,* * the fonitb, the Tmkhi, <x BituitiUt, from the Enjltntes ; 
u>d the Ust, the Pataia, from the Orontes. 

{ 11. The interest whkh this obelisk excited was aihanced far the 
discorery that the kiap, nho is men, in the highest row, praebating 
MmKlf before the Assyrian monarch, aod whose followers Inng a 
tribateof gold and Bilrer inrahoDs rorms,is styled in the iDScriptiiM 

PilaoHn pnmtrd bj Um OiW Enoncti (Mand ObslUk). 

" Jehu, son of Omri," a patronymic derived from the fonnder of the 
akpt*l dtj of Samaria." When the fall inscription was decipbeted, 
there me fbnnd a still earlier point of contact betwieen Assyria and 
the kingdom of Israel, and one most strikingly confirmative — as, we 
may observe in passing, every new Assyrian discovery Is more and 
more confinnative '' — of the Scripfnre history. 

To explain this, we must glance at the position now occupied by 

^ Theae tit tbt ptoplc vbo bring (ha BHtriu cunel, tha /ndtoa rfalnoHm 
mud clfphut (irhfeh ii drpiGted ■ciuto^bFelorlydMliipiIihnl tma Uk Afrfcas), 

to A'lTBtfic witb I n dU. Tht prood Aaajriu^DU^ hare damuuled tb«v ^ifli^ tx 
irhURcr Uboar and riik lo his Eulcn nbjixti. The ida tbu Uu ■enlptor 

abanue of tnj <acb cUim in tba Inacription. Tlia EgTptUn monuiaeBtt Hlidv 
th*t tba Indian f tcphant su ilio braa(bt (d tb« Fbntwib* u t. tribvta ttaa khh 
people of WHInn AiiL (WilUiuan, ' Andoit ElTptiaaa,' ml. t. p. 17$; toI. i. 

B 1 Kinpxrl. 14. Tbt AMTiiuunn luilUar vltli B«maii> nadar tbe ubc 
of Sitli-Xlntmri (Iha Asui or titf of Omtrij. Beaiileai leka mnU pnlwUjr aiek 
to lacltiniAla hii unrpatiea bj claiming dnecnt ftom Iha fooDdar of tha djiuMtj 
he QTBtbicv, H nil oT tlw e^Ul ; ud for anftit «* kaoir, tbt cluin mar bira 
hid waukt ground. 

" So itriking hu thli ■graanaiit beoi, fram tba tbtj begbuunga ot eonelfann 
»cience» that (be prvasit vriter ranwmbeim viKn bia awn Boa'pticUin took tba 
form or ■ doaU wbclfacT tha conDord of in lei iii a ttn might not ba cipUlntd bj 
their nee (to in extant of vhieb they wrrt uneoiuetaai) ti the tawtmat Ky Uny 
poaeeie e d in Serlptnn hiitaTy i but the Tenlta obtained luTe long Blnee ontgrawn 
iBg thB« eiplslBtd. , 


Stbia between Assyria, on the one side, and Israel and Phoenicia on 
the other. The valley of the Orontes was still occupied by the 
Hittites, the old foes of Egypt, who extended eastward to the 
Euphrates ; but the conquest of their eastern tribes by Asshur-nasir- 
pal appears to have been permanent. South of them, towards Coele- 
Syria, was the kingdom of EamcUh ; and the part of Syria between 
the eastern chain of Lebanon and the desert was occupied by a power- 
ful kingdom — 

** whose delightftil seat 
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile hanks 
Of Ahana and- Pharphar — ^Incid streams." 

In that city — otie of the oldest in the world, which the native tra^ 
dition made the resting-place of Abraham on his journey from 
Obarran into Canaan,^^ and which David reduced in his war with 
Hadadezer, king of Zobah, then a great Syrian kingdom further 
north ''^ — a certain Bezon, who seems to have been outlawed by 
Hadadezer, had established himself at the head of an irregular band, 
in the declining days of Solomon. " And he was an adversary to 
Israel all the days of Solomon ;...'. and he abhorred Israel, and 
reigned over Syria."" 

According to the native historian, Nicolas of Damascus — ^an emi- 
nent rhetorician in the service of Herod the Great — ^the former king 
of Damascus was named Hadad ;^ and either his descendants re- 
covered the throne, or the line of Eezon affected descent from him ; 
for all the kings we know of, down to the usurpation of Hazael, bear 
the name of Bbn-hadad (the son of Hadad), The kingdom, thus 
hostile from its origin, appeara in constant conflict with one branch 
or the other of the Hebrew monarchy. Ben-hadad I. of Scripture 
(probably the Hadad HI. of Nicolaiis Damascenus) — after taking 
part, in turn, with each kingdom against the other, and so weakening 
both** — availed himself of the civil war at the accession of Onui to 
add several cities of Israel to his dominion, and seems even to have 
exercised rights of suzerainty in the new capital of Israel.^ But the 
attempt of his successor, Ben-hadad II. (or Hadad IV.) — who appeare 
at the head of 32 confederate kings — to take Samaria and crush Isi-ael 
altogether, led to his utter defeat by Ahab, and to a new alliance, 
in which the former relations of dependence were reversed : — " And 
Ben-hadad said unto him (Ahab), the cities which iny father took 
from thy father I will restore ; and thou shalt make streets for thee 

*^ Nicolatts Damasc. Fr. 80 ; comp. Genesis xy. 2. 

w 2 Sam. viii. 5, 6 ; 1 Chron. xviiL 5. "1 Kings xj. 23-25. 

^ He makes the descendants of Hadad reign for ten generations, omitting 
Rezon altogether. ** 1 Kings xv. 19, 20 ; 2 Chron. xvi. 3. 

, w j Kin^s XX. 34 J comp. Nic. Pam. Fr, 31, adfin^ 


in Damascus, as mv father made in Samaria So he nwide a 

covenant with him, and sent him away." ^ 

Now, among the campaigns of Shalmaneser II., no less than five 
were directed against Syria ; and the express, mention of ** Khazail 
(Hazael) of Damascus" in the last two leaves no doubt that the 

" of Damascus,'* mentioned in the first three, was no other 

than Ben-hadad.^ It was in the ninth year of Shalmaneser that 
the king of Damascus, alarmed, doubtless, by the growing power of 
Assyria, anticipated her attack at the head of a great confederacy, 
among whom were the kings of the Hittites, and those of the 
Phoenicians, the king of Hamath, and Ahab of Jezred^ who 
contributed 10,000 men and 20 chariots, out of the whole army of 
77,900 men, 1940 chariots, and 1000 camels. Ben-hadad*s own force 
was 20,000 men and 1200 chariots ; and it is interesting, as bearing 
on the relations between Egypt and Assyria, to find 1000 men sent 
by the king of Egypt.'*^ The allies were defeated, with the loss of 
20,000 men ; but the Assyrian king mentions no conquest of terri- 
tory, nor even imposition of tribute ; and another campaign, after 
five years, ends with another claim of barren victory. 

Three years later, Shalmaneser collected his forces for a decisive 
blow, and led 102,000 men across the Euphrates. The allies were 
put to fiight, and the confederacy was dissolved ; and Ben-hadad, sick 
and depressed after such a blow,^^ incurred the fate which has befallen 
many a defeated king, from the treachery of his servant Hazael.'*^ 
Accordingly, it is against " Khazail of Damascus '* that Shalmaneser 
pursues his advantage in the following year, and defeats him in the 
strong position he had taken up in the passes of Antilibanus. On 
the return of the Assyrian king, three years later, Hazael seems to 
have made no resistance to the plunder of his cities by the invader, 
who passed on to receive the tribute of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblus. 
In this state of things we can readily understand that, the frontier 
of Israel being uncovered on the east and north, Jehu would offer 
his submission to Assyria ; but, as there was no actual invasion of 
the kingdom, the event is not recorded in the chronicles of Israel, 
The mention of Ahab is said to be repeated on the monolith set up 
by Shalmaneser by the side of his father's, at ^orHar, near Dtarhekr^ 
on the Tsupnat, or eastern branch of the Tigris. The only other 

S7 1 Kiners XX. 1-84. 

^ The characters used will not make Sen-hadadt though some read JBm-ddri, 
It is not improhable that Benhadad is used as the regular title of the Syrian king, 
lil^e Pharaoh and CSsp^ar, and that, like them, each king had a proper name besides. 

** This, which has lately been determined as the reading of a phrase formerly 
doubtful, corresponds precisely to the fact that Ahab's favourite residence was at 
his summer palace at Jezreel. 

^ This, if the readinff be correct, is the one solitary indication oi any hottilo 
relations between Egypt {tnd Assyria under the Old Monarchy. 

41 2 Kings viU, 7. . « 2 Kin^ft nS\V. \b^ 


campaign which requires notice is that of his eighth year against 
Bahylonia. Taking advantage of a civil war between king Merodach- 
snm-adin and his younger brother, Shalmaneser overran the country 
as far as the south of Chaldsea, at that time under its separate kings, 
whom he reduced to tribute. " The power of his army," he says, 
** struck terror as far as the sea." 

§ 12. The other campaigns would be only wearisome to describe, 
even if we had the space. They are related in a much drier style 
than those of the preceding king, and extend, for the most part, over 
the same regions ; the novelty, besides the wars with Damascus, being 
the receipt of tribute from the Barisu or Partsu, who are supposed 
by some to be the Persians, or rather their Turanian predecessors. 
Twenty-three Campaigns were made by Shalmaneser in person, and 
three or four others by a nobleman named Dayn-Asshur, whose 
exploits are, of course, regarded as the king's ; and the result is an 
amusing mixture of the first and third persons in the annals. Of 
the truly Assyrian spirit in which the wars were conducted, one 
specimen may suffice : — "I slew his fighting men, and carried away 
his spoil ; I overthrew, beat to pieces, and consumed with fire towns 
without number ; I swept the country with my troops, and impressed 
on the inhabitants the fear of my presence." 

This and the preceding reign had established the true Empire of 
Assyria, which now extended on the west to the Mediterranean, em- 
bracing the whole coast of Syria and Phcenicia, as far south as Mount 
Carmel, or rather Joppa, for Israel must be regarded as a vassal 
kingdom. As the border of the Euphrates had thus been passed to 
the west, so had the range of Zagrus to the east, and the Semitic 
yoke was imposed upon the Aryans of the table-land of Iran. But 
these people, afterwards so mighty, were as yet but scattered tribes, 
dispersed in unfortified towns and villages, and neither united under 
a king nor possessing a capital. The weakness of the tribes on her 
frontiers explains the rapid growth of Assyria. 

§ 13. The last years of Shalmaneser were troubled by a rebellion of 
, his eldest son, Asshur-danin-pal, who was acknowledged as king by 
no less than twenty-seven of the most important cities of Assyria, 
including Asshur, Arbela, and Amida (Diarbekr). The dominion 
of Shalmaneser appears to have been confined to Calah and Nine'freh 
during the last five years of his reign, which are assigned in the 
Assyrian Canon to Asshur-danin-pal.** The rebellion was at length 
put down by a younger son, Shamas-Iva,** who succeeded his father, 
and reigned 13 years (b.o. 823-810). We owe the account of the 

*^ The annals of Shalmaneser also end in the 5th year hefore his death. 
** This name is also readi9Aama«-(or Samsi-) Vul^ and by M. O^^xt Samsi~Rou. 
The second element, the name of a god, which enters also into seyeral other royal 
ffames, is one of which the phonetic value is very uncertain. 

Chap. Xll. iVA-LUSH, OR VtL-LtSH IV. 261 

rebellion to a square arch-headed stela of this king, with his effigy in 
bas-relief, and an inscription in the hieratic character, containing the 
annals only of his first four years, found at the central palace of 
Nimrvd.^ He relates expeditions against the Nairi, Media, and 
(the most important) against Babylonia, where he gained a great 
victory over the king, Merodorach-belatru-ikbi, and his Chaldaean, 
Susianian, and Aramaean allies, and forced that king to flee into the 
desert. A newly discovered fragment shews that he was still occu- 
pied, during his last three years, with expeditions against Babylonia 
and elsewhere.^^ 

§ 14. IvA-LUSH (or Vul-lush) IV.,*^ son of Shamas-Iva, waa 
another enterprising warrior. Of the 29 years of his reign (b.c, 
810 to 781), 26 were occupied by military expeditions, seven of 
which were against Media, three into the central ^regions of Zagrus, 
and three into Palestine, indicating an extension of the empire both 
to the east and to the south-west. We possess no detailed annals of 
his campaigns, like those of the former kings ; but his few monuments 
are very interesting. From inscribed bricks at Nimrud^ we find 
that he added some rooms to the palaces at Calah, and other bricks, 
found in the mound of Nebbi-Yunus, mark him as the first Assyrian 
king who is known to have built a palace at Nineveh.^ He calls him- 
self " the restorer of noble buildings that had gone to- decay." ^ 

His chief monuments are a genealc^cal tablet, found at Nimrud^ 
and a pair of statues of the god Nebo. On the former, he describes 
himself as ruling from the country of Silema, on the east^ over lands 
extending from the foot of the Caucasus to the Persian Gulf,*® and 
embracing (besides many other names) Elam, and parts of Persia and 
Media ; and on the west, beyond the Euphrates, over Syria, Phoe- 
nicia (Tyre and Sidon), the " city of Omri " (Samaria), Bdom, and 
the country of the Philistines, to ''the sea of the setting sun," 
that is, the Mediterranean. He says that he took a king of Syria 
(whose name is doubtfully read Marih) in his capital of Damascus. 

§ 15. In Babylonia he appears to have exercised a sort of r^al 
power, receiving homage from the Chaldaeans, and offering sacrifices 

*^ Sir H. Bawlinson's * Inaoriptioiis,* plates 29 to 34. 

*^ See Bawlinson, ' Five Monarchies,* Appendix to rol. It. note B. 

*'^ Both the elements of this name are of uncertain phonetic value. M. Oppert 
rcuds it Houlikhous ; and on the statues of Nebo mentioned below it has been 
read Phalukka^ which is merely another form of Vul-huh. On the strength of 
the distant resemblance in this form of the name, he has been identified with the 
Pui. of Scripture ; but this is contradicted by the chronology. 

^ The city of ^inereh itself had existed from unknown antiquity, originally 
under its own kings. It is often mentioned befote this time, especially in 
Egyptian records. 

^ M. Lenormant ascribes to him the broken obelisk (mentioned aboTe, § 9), 
which records the restoration of the capital Asshnr. 

^ ** The sea of the rising sun : ** — ^whieh some take for thA Gmbis^axu 


to &e chief gods of the coantry — ^Bel, Nebo, and Nergal, ii 
chief cities, Babylon 


sippa, and Cutha. And 
here arises a most in- 
teresting question, cbn- 
nected with the two sta- 
tues of Nebo, which were 
found by Mr. Bassam in 
a temple of the god de- 
dicated by this king, ad' 
joining to the S.E. palace 
of Nimrud." They are 
nearly alike, and of a form 
HO ooustrained and dis- 
proportjoned, and work- 
tnanahip bo rnde and in- 
ferior to contemporary 
sculptures, as evidently 
to show a conTentional 
model. The inscriplioli 
across the middle of both 
figures records that they 
were dedicated to Nebo 
by an officer, who was 
govBTior of Calah (and 
oljier places), as a votive 
offering for the life of his 
lord, Iva-luth, and QT 
his ladt/, BammuTomit. 
Here then, at length, we 
have an historical Sehi- 
BAias, at a time, and of 
a character, totally dif- 
ferent from the legend, 
but under circumBtances 
of great interest. As it 
was never the oastom of 
tile East thus to aasociale 
a queen consort with the 
king" — in fact, Sammu- 
ramil iBtbeonlyprinoeEs 
mentioned in the Aasy- 


rian annals — we may safely infer that this queen had a royal 
dignity in her own right ; and what that was may be inferred 
from the legendary connection of Semiramis with Babylon. She 
may very probably have been the daughter and heiress of that 
king of Babylon who was conquered by Shamas-Iva, or, at all 
events, a princess married to Iva-lush to legitimate his acts of 
sovereignty in Babylonia. It is quite in accordance with Eastern 
custom that, while worshipping the native gods in their own 
country in right of his wife, he should build their temples, in 
her honour, in his own capital.^' Herodotus, whose omission of 
the mythical legend of Semiramis adds an historical value to 
his account of her connection with Babylon (at least as to the 
main fact),** places her a century and a half before Nitocris, the wife 
of Nabopolassar — ^not a bad approximation to the probable date of 
the real queen. In short — as M. Lenormant puts the case with 
French felicity — Iva-lvsh and Sammuramit were " the Ferdinand 
and Isabella of Mesopotamia." Hence the peculiar signiiicance of 
the style adopted by Iva-lush, as " the king to whose son (not to him- 
self), Asshur, the chief of the gods, has granted: the kingdom of 
Babylon," The result of the imion, however, seems to have been 
very different from the modem parallel ; and it is not improbable 
that the son, thus established on the throne of Babylon, founded 
there a rival branch of the royal family, which was ready to claim, 
if it did not actually overturn, the kingdom of Assyria itself. 

That the latter catastrophe, involving the utter destruction of 
Nineveh, actually happened, within about 40 years, by the conspi- 
racy of Arbaces, the satrap of Media, and Belesys, a Ghaldasan priest 
of Babylon — as related by Ctesias — is a story beset by improba- 
bilities, contradictions, and anticipations of facts and names ; but it 
seems that some revolution did occur about that time, which gave 
to Babylon a momentary supremacy. 

§ 16. The entire absence (so far as we yet know) ^ of new 
buildings, or any other monuments, of itself marks this period of 
about forty years as one of decline, and probably of internal dis- 
turbance. Still the Assyrian Canon fills up this interval with the 
names of three kings, the first of whom, Shalmanbsbr III., is now 

in this connection. It is one great vice of the Oriental despotisms that the queen 
for the time being means only the most favoured lady of the harem. 

'3 This argument must not be pressed too far, as Nebo was a god of both 
countries ; but, of the two, how much more he was honoured in Babylonia is at 
once seen by a mere comparison of the Assyrian and Babylonian royal names. 

^ The Babylonian annals, from which the Chaldsean priests gave information 
to Herodotus, would naturally record the name of Sammuramit alone. 

** What records of this period may be hidden in the mound of Nehbi-Tunua — 
from a brick of which we have just seen a sigrn of the period when the Assyrian 
monarchs began to reside at Nineveh — is a question whose solution is postponed 
by the fanatical opposition of the Arabs to any meddling with t\\& m'wxtA^'^^ 

264 The old ASSYKIAK EMPlfeE. feooK It. 

found to have been an active warrior.*' Every one of his ten years 
(B.C. 781-771) had its military expedition, mainly in Eastern 
Armenia ; and two were against the Syrians of Damascus. In his 
successor, Asshur'danin'U II., we trace the decline of the military 
spirit, for he remains quietly at home 9 years of his 18 (b.o. 771- 
753) ; while the last king of. this series, Asshur-Ltish^ gives only 
2 years out of 7 or 8 (b.o. 753-746) to a war in the mountains of 
Zagrus, which, as his only one, was most probably defensive. This 
is the king whom some make the Sardanapalus of Gtesias. 

§ 17. The Assyrian empire was, as we have already shown, from 
its very constitution, ever liable to a sudden collapse. Its conquests 
were mere raids, attended by slaughter, plunder, and the imposition 
of tribute ; and followed by no attempt to unite the conquered pro- 
vinces with the central power, or to gain the good will of the subject 
populations. The empire had no internal cohesion ; and each suc- 
cessive king had to master it anew by his own exploits. The first 
attempt to lead a quiet life at home would give the signal for a 
general revolt ; and, from all that we can gather of the condition of 
Babylon, that kingdom stood up beside Assyria, ready to seize the 
abandoned empire, or at least to resume its independence. 

In the absence of distinct information from the monuments, it is 
only a probable conjecture that some such revolution is marked by 
the Babylonian Eba of Nabonassab, b.o. 747, which coincides 
(within a year or two) with the end of the reign of the last-named 
Assyrian king, according to Ptolemy and the Assyrian Canon, and 
with the close of the Sixth Dynasty of Berosus. But as this era also 
corresponds nearly with the accession of an Assyrian king, who began 
a new course of foreign conquest, we may suppose it to mark, not 
the beginning of a revolt, but the recognition of the independence 
which Babylonia had gained under the weak kings who closed the 
old Assyrian dynasty.^ 

local tradition sanctified by the name of the prophet at whose preaching Nineveh 
repented. The question of Jonah's own age is too difficult to be discussed here ; 
but it would add much to the interest of this period of the history if the opinion 
of Mr. Drake could be established— that the prophet preached at Nineveh under 
Iva-luah IV. (formerly called Adram-meleoh II.) — the very time when the empire 
was at the height of its glory, and on the eve 'of its decline. (See * Notes on the 
Prophecies of Hoseaand Jonah,* by the Eer. W. Drake, Cambridge, 1853.) The 
period of " forty days " allotted by the prophet (Jonah iii. 4) has a striking corre- 
spondence with the forty years of weakness indicated by the history ; and the 
grace granted on the repentance of the king and people might well consist in the 
mitigation ofthe crisis prepared by the faults of the rulers, and in the period 
of greater prosperity enjoyed under the new dynasty. 

*« From Sir H. Rawlinson's newly discovered tablet. (Rawlinson's * Five 
Monarchies, vol. iv. Appendix B.) 

«' The exact epoch of the era of Nabonassar corresponds to the 16th of Feb- 
ruary, B.C. 747, of our calendar. M. Oppert and others deny that the epoch ha« 
any political significance $ and this question most be regarded as stiU " sub 


§ 18. And here we have a probable solution of tbe greatest, indeed 
almost the only serious, difficulty in harmonizing the Assyrian annals 
with the chronicles of the Hebrew monarchy. In the reign of Menor 
hem, King of Israel, we read that, " Pul,^ the King of Assyria, came 
up against the land ; and Menahem gave Pul 1000 talents of silver, 
&c." ; and, content with this tribute, " the King of Assyria turned 
back, and stayed not there in the land." ** Presently afterwards, in 
the reign of the usurper, Pekah, who had murdered Pekahiah, the 
son of Menahem, we are told of the expedition in which (as we 
shall presently see in the proper place) Tiglath-pileser XL carried the 
Israelites on the east of Jordan into captivity. 

This latter expedition is duly recorded in the annals of Tiglath- 
pileser ; but, he/ore it, he mentions the reduction of Samaria, and the 
receipt of tribute from Menahem, Now, as the Assyrian annals give a 
series of kings' names, none of which at all resemble Pul, after Iva4ush 
IV, (or Phalukha), who is excluded on chronological grounds,®* the 
first and simplest alternative is to identify Fid and Tiglath-pileser^ 
and for this there are some arguments worth notice.*^ But it is quite 
evident that the Jewish chroniclers meant two different kings by Pvl 
and Tiglath-pileser ;*^ and, if they were one, it is quite incredible 
that the writer, who gives the full name of Tiglath-pileser so 
accurately, should just before corrupt it into Pul.^ There remains 
the ingenious hypothesis of Professor Rawlinson, that Fid was a king 
of the branch of the royal family reigning in Babylonia, and not 
improbably over Assyria also as suzerain. He might be a prede- 
cessor of Nabonassar ; and if, as a descendant of Iva-lush and Semi, 
ramis, he bore the same name as the former, the identification which 
chronology forbids in the case of the ancestor may be applied to the 
descendant. Perhaps we may even trace the name of this Babylonian 
king in the legendary Belesys of Ctesias. After all, we can only hope 
that future discoveries will give a satisfactory explanation. 

^ The LXX. render the name Phaloch {^oXmx), which is identical with the 
Phahikha read by some on the statues of Nebo. Various readings of the LXX. 
are ^oAcof, ^ovAo, and 9aud. PtU is certainly an abbreviation, for no Assyrian 
name consists of a single element. 

*» 2 Kings XV. 19, 20. 

^ For Menahem reigned only 10 years, and the interval between Iva-lush and 
Tiglath-pileser II. is 35 years (b.c. 781-746). The apparently decisive argument 
from the names of the intervening kings is, however, qualified by the confessed 
doubt about their phonetic reading ; and we have lost their annals, except the 
brief chronological notices of the newly discovered Canon. Still, that Canon 
would surely have found room for so important an expedition, which must have 
fallen either in the reign of the unwarlike Asshur-lush, or at the close of that of 
his predecessor, just when a less important expedition against the Syrians of 
Sadrach is duly chronicled. 

^^ See the statement of them by RawUnson (* Five Monarchies,' vol. il. p. 888, 
note), who, however, rejects the identification. The middle element ot '^isgka>^cci.- 
pal-z'ira. might possibly gvre the name JW. 

«2 See espedalJ^ 1 CbroB. r. 26. «» Comp. 2 Mnga xv. W, VvXJcl ^exASi, Vi. 

EiCBTallona at Kofanjlk. 




B.C. 745-704, 

( 1. Domtlon of the empire. I(a KTeTi knoirn klitK>. Cliionalo^eil epoolu oom- 
pued. § 1. TioLATB-FiLun n. El> obwDTe ori^. Hii palaces at Nimmd. 
SnbJecli on hia bu.relieb. Uentlon or Xmahm. § 1. Annnlt of TIeIbUi. 
pilMcr. Conqueit of Babylonlt. § 4. His irueill SyrllandPsleBtine. § b. 
Greet Syrian War. DeelracHon of tlie kingdom of Damnmui. CapllTity of 
the Iscaelltea cut of Jordan. Conque<t< Is Phoenicia, tee. AliaiL, King 
of Judah, made tribotary. § e. Sihliiaheseb IV. Cor.queaC of Samaria 
(oonipleted by Bai^oii), and final captlTlty of Israel. Maritime canpalini against 

1b Clialdza and Elam. Conquest of Samaria complctcit. 'Wan in ByHa and 
PHillaUa. Detett of the F.gyptiant at Bapbia. § S. Invasion of Arabia. 


Capture of Ashdod. Submission of the King of Ethiopia. § 9. Great war 
with Merodach-Baladan and the Elamites, and conquest of Babylonia. Trans- 
plantations of conquered peoples. § 10. Embassies from an island in the 
Persian Gulf, and from Cyprus. § 11. His town and palace at HisT'Sargon 
(Khorsabeui) ; and buildings at Calah and Nineveh. 

§ 1. The New or Lower Assyrian Empire was governed in its 
duration of 120 or 139 years (b.c. 745-625 or 606) by a succession of 
seven known kings,^ among whom we recognise the well known 
Scriptural names of Tiglath-piUser, Shalmanesery Sargon, Sennacherib^ 
and Esar-haddon : while in the sixth, Asshur-bant-paly we at length 
find the name of the mythic Sardanapalus, though the final cata- 
strophe of Nineveh befel under his son, Asshur-emid-ilin, the Asm- 
racus of the Greeks, or perhaps under one [more successor. Except 
the last one or two, respecting whom there is much uncertainty, we are 
now at length free from serious doubts about their names, their 
order of succession, their chronology, and the principal events of 
their reigns ; while, as to some of them (the celebrated Sennacherib, 
for instance), our chief embarrassment arises from the abundance of 
their records. 

We have also reached a sure chronological epoch ; for the modem 
authorities, who have differed up to this point, are all agreed in 
placing the new foundation of the empire by Tiglath-pileser II. 
within a year or two of b.c. 747, the Era op Nabonassar. It 
is worth while to observe that this epoch is just 6 years later than 
that commonly accepted for the foundation of Rome (b.c. 753), and 
one generation after the chronology of Greece becomes fixed by the 
first recorded Olympic victory (b.c. 776) ; and that it agrees almost 
exactly with the time when Pheidon of Argos is said to have first 
coined money in Greece (b.c. 748). 

§ 2. Tiglath-pileser II. either first became the king or, at all 
events, the independent king of Assyria, in b.c. 745,* and reigned 
18 or 19 years, to b.c. 727. Without attaching any weight to the 
story repeated by some later Greek writers, that he was originally a 
vine-dresser in the royal gardens,® we may infer that he was an 
adventurer of obscure origin from his never mentioning his father's 
name in his inscriptions, which speak in general terms of "the 
kings his fathers " and the ** palaces of his fathers " at Calah, which 

1 M. Oppert adds an eighth or even a ninth : see end of this chapter. 

2 This date is fixed by the Assyrian Canon and the Canon of Ptolemy, in 
"Which it is consecutiye with the reign of Asshur-lush. But M. Oppert — who, 
as we have seen, puts all the Old Assyrian kings higher np— infers, from an 
elaborate comparison of the Scriptore chronology with the Assyrian monuments, 
that Tiglath-pileser came to the throne in b.c. 769, and achieved his independence 
of Babylon in b.c. 747. 

3 That is, if he is the king meant by BelUaras, a name apparently formed from 
the latter part of his name, Pal-Trira, But we have seen that M. Oppert places 
Belitaras much earlier. 

' ^^ 

268 tHE NEW ASSYRIAN EMPEfcB:. ' feooK 11. 

continued to be the capital. There, besides repairing the central 
edifice of Shalmaneser JL, he built a new palace at the south- 
eastern angle of the Nimrud platform. 

Both were barbarously torn to pieces by Esar-haddon, when, 
wishing to emulate former kings as a builder, he obtained the 
materials for decorating his own palace by stripping those of his 
predecessors of their bas-reliefs. The south-east palace was almost 
completely destroyed, whether in war or revolution, and the last 
king of Nineveh built a new palace over its remains.* Amidst the 
ruins of the central edifice Mr. Layard found many of the alabaster 
slabs, with which its walls had been lined, removed and heaped on 
the pavement. They were placed as the spoiler had left them 
above 2500 years before, '* in rows one against the other, like the 
leaves of a gigantic book. Every slab was sculptured ; and as they 
followed each other according to the subjects upon them, it was 
evident that they had been moved, in the order in which they 
stood, from their original positions, and had been left as they were 
found, preparatory to their removal elsewhere. That they had not 
been thus collected prior to their arrangement against the walls 
was evident from the fact that the Assyrian sculptors carved the 
bas-reliefs, though not the great bulls and lions, after the slabs 
had been placed. The backs of the slabs had also been cut away, 
in order to reduce their dimensions, and to make the work of 
transport more easy. The bas-reliefs resembled, in many respects, 
some of those discovered in the S.W. Palace, in which th^ sculp- 
tured faces of the slabs were turned towards the walls of un^ 
haked brick. It would appear, therefore, that the one building 
had been destroyed, to supply materials for the construction of 
the other." This conclusion is placed beyond doubt by the occur- 
rence, among the sculptures in the South-West Nimrud palace of 
Esar-haddon, of some which their subjects and inscriptions identify 
as belonging to Tiglath-pileser II. 

Among these is the important monument referred to above, in 
which the king is represented in his war-chariot, with an inscrij)- 
tion recording the receipt of tribute from several princes, among 
whom is the name of Menahem, king of Samaria, Some of the 
unremoved sculptures contain remarkable pictures of sieges. One 
represents a testudo on wheels, protecting a pair of boring spears, 
on an artificial mound raised against a tower of a city, which 
is also (like those of the Assyrians) built on an embankment : 
the king, whose height is equal to that of mound and tower 
together, bends his bow against the city, under cover of a huge 
wicker shield held before him by an attendant : while, besides a 

* Enough has been left, however, to enable Mr. Loftus to make out its ground 
pJnn, which may be seen in the Assyrian, hasemeul room aX XYift Brvtlsh Museum. 


corpse lying at the foot of the mound, another falling, and a person 
apparently in an imploring attitude on the turret top, the effect is 
heightened by three prisoners impaled. Such scenes, which the Assy- 
rian despots loved to have before their eyes in their palaces, have come 
down to us to illustrate many passages in which the prophets speak 
of enemies ** building forts^* (these are often seen in the sculptures), 
" casting mounds" and " setting hattering-rams '* against Jerusalem ; 
and the relief now described exactly illustrates the passage in 
Isaiah : — " Thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, 
He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow ihere^ nor come 
hefore it vnth shields, nor cast a bank against it/ * 

§ 3. Through the destruction of his palaces, the records of Tiglath- 
pileser have come down to us in a very fragmentary form ; but 
enough remains to show that he was engaged in constant wars for 
the re-establishment of the emjDire. His first enterprise was against- 
Babylonia, which had now fallen into confusion. There is no 
mention, in his annals, of Nabonassar, whom Ptolemy's Canon 
represents as now reigning at Babylon ; but he names several 
princes of the upper country, whom he attacked and defeated, 
taking Kur-Galazu and Sippara ; while, in the maritime region of 
Ghaldasa, he received the submission of Merodach-Baladan, the son 
of Yakin, whose capital was the city of Bit-Yakin.^ 

§ 4. Thus secured against the rival kingdom, Tiglath-pileser was 
able to turn his attention to that great object of policy with the later 
Assyrian kings, the reduction of Syria and Palestine: countries 
which were already regarded as tributary.' The newly discovered^ 
canon shews that he was engaged for three years^ (b.c. 742-740) 
in the conquest of Arpad,® near Damascus, and his own annals 
relate a series of campaigns, — apparently from his fourth year to his 
eighth (B.C. 742-736), — in which he reduced Damascus, Samaria, and 
Tyre (whose kings are mentioned by the familiar names of Rezin, 
Menahem, and Hiram), and the Arabs on the frontier of Egypt, 
who were governed by a queen named Khahiba.^ But these con- 
quests did not reach Judaea, Philistia, or Idumaaa. His second attack 

3 Isaiah xxxvii. 88 ; comp. 2 Kings zix. 82 ; Jerem. xxxii. 24 ; xxxiii. 4 ; 
Ezek. xvii. 17 : see the woodcut in Layard's ' Nineveh,* p. 279, smaller ed. 

^ Probably the father of the celebrated Merodach-Baladan. (See below, § 9.) 

' We have seen that this was the position of the kingdoms of Damascus and 
Samaria. With regard to that of Judah, though the treaty of Ahaz with Tiglath- 
pileser is the first connection recorded in the annals of both countries, Professor 
Bawlinson has conjectured that the suzerainty of Assyria had been admitted as 
early as the reign of Amaziah, because " the kingdom was confirmed in his hand " 
(2 Kings xiv. 5), the very expression used of Menahem's confirmation by Pul 
(2 Kings XT. 19). But historical facts cannot safely be inferred from such mere 
rerbal coincidences. * This mention of Arpad illustrates Isaiah x. 9. 

* " The Arabs of the tract bordering on Egypt seem to have been regularly 
governed by queens. Three sueh are mentioned in the inscriptions." (Bawlinson^ 
vol. ii. p. 396, note. 


on the kingdom of Israel may have been provoked by the usurpation 
of Pekah, and his murder of Menahem's son, Pekahiah, the vassal 
of Assyria ; and it was on this occasion that Tiglath-pileser, king of 
Assyria, came and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maacbah, and Janoah, 
and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of 
Naphthali, and carried them captive to Assyria.^ This captivity 
included that part of the Israelites east of Jordan who dwelt in the 
land of Gilead, and a portion of the tribes of Zebulon and Naphthali 
in the northern part of Galilee, a population so affected by the 
neighbourhood of Phoenicia as to have acquired already the name 
of " Galilee of the Gentiles." " But, to use the words of Isaiah, in 
the same passage, these tribes were but " lightly afflicted," in com- 
parison with " a more grievous affliction *' which was to befal them, 
in connection with the utter destruction and dreadful carnage, which 
he describes in some of the grandest passages of his prophecies, as 
about to fall upon the kingdom of Damascus ; while the devastating 
triumph of Assyria would spread from Coele-Syria to Arabia and 

§ 5. The cause of this catastrophe was an alliance between Hezin 
king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, to dethrone Ahaz, the new 
king of Judah, and to set up in his place a creature of their own, who 
is called " the son of Tabeal ;"^^ with the manifest object of organizing 
a powerful resistance to the progress of Assyria. The exact order of 
events is obscure ; but it seems that the confederates invaded Judah 
from different quartere, and, while Rezin defeated the Jews and 
carried away a great multitude of captives to Damascus, Pekah 
gainei a still more decisive victory, in which " he slew, in Judah, 

i<> 2 Kings XV. 25-29. This event, so important in the history of Israel, is 
only slightly mentioned in the annals of Tiglath-pileser ; and it is not clear to 
which year of his reign it should be referred. Perhaps it formed the last of the 
four campaigns named above. At all events, the annals of Tiglath-pileser seem 
to mention two separate expeditions against Pekah : and two separate captivities 
— the former less extensive and severe than the latter — appear to be indicated, not 
only in Isaiah ix. 1 (see the following note), but by the comparison of 2 Eings 
XV. 29, with 1 Chron. v. 26. The former passage mentions only a few places in 
the extreme north of Galilee, and Gilead alone of the Transjordanic countries ; 
while the latter specifies the whole Tsansjordanic region, and says nothing of 
Galilee. The regions to which the captives are carried in the two cases would 
be different only if Assyria is to be taken in its narrower sense : nor can any 
argument be drawn from the order of 2 Kings xv. 29 before 2 Kings xvi., as the 
former is a mere summary of the reign of Pekah, down to his death (ver. 30). I 

*^ Isaiah ix. 1. This passage is best explained by the well-known interchange 
of the Hebrew preterite and future. On this first occasion "he lightly evicted 
the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphthali ; " but *' afterwards he would 
more grievously afflict " (them, or Israel at large), either in the final captivity, 
or rather in connection with the destruction of Syria. For the whole pro- 
phecy seems to imply, what the nature of the case suggests, that Israel was ag^ain 
severely chastised for Pekah's confederacy with Rezin. ^^ Isaiah vii.-xii. 

'^ Isaiah ru, 6 ', for the whole narrative see 2 Kings xvL 1-9 ; 2 Chron. 
jcxrm, 1-27, 


120,000 men in one day, which were all valiant men" — among 
them the king's son and other princes ; and " the children of Israel 
carried away captive of their brethren 200,000 women, sons, and 
daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought 
the spoil to Samaria,"*^ Jerusalem was besi^ed; but Ahaz was 
moved by the encouragement of Isaiah to a vigorous resistance,'* and 
the si^e was doubtless raised the sooner from the eagerness of both 
kings to carry off their prisoners and spoil. 

But this was only a respite. The operations of Rezin on the south- 
eastern frontier deprived Judah of Elath (^lana), her great port on 
the Red Sea, and raised the Edomites against her, while the Philistines 
invaded her on the west and south. In this extremity Ahaz appealed 
to llglath-pileser, with the most unreserved admission of his vassal- 
age — *^ I am thy servant and thy son " — supported by a tribute from 
the treasures of the temple.'* The Assyrian king first attacked 
Rezin," who was defeated and slain— either in battle, or by aae 
of those barbarous executions which we see in the Assyrian monu- 
ments inflicted on rebellious kings. 

At all events, the scenes on those monuments and the boasts m 
their inscriptions furnish an ample comment on the prophetic warning 
of the horrors which this conquest was to bring on Israel, as well as 
Syria : — " For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and 
garments rolled in blood ; but this shall be with burning and fuel of 
fire.** " Through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts is the land darkened , 
and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire ; no man shall spare his 
brother ; . . . they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm. 
For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched 
out still. Thou, O Assyrian, art the rod of mine anger, and the staff 
in their hand is mine indignation." 

Other neighbouring nations are alluded to by Isaiah as feeling the 
scourge of this great conquest ; and the prophet Amos speaks par- 
ticularly, not only of the people of northern Israel and Damascust 
but also of the Philistines of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron ; 
the Phoenicians of Tyre ; the Edomites, the Ammonites of Rabbah, 
and the Moabites of Kirioth.*^ From the annals of Tiglath-pileser 
we find that he chastised the Arabs of the peninsula of Sinai, and 

^* 2 Chron. xxriii. 5-8. The release of thetse eaptiTes, at fhe command of the 
prophet Oded, is a redeeming incident of this war, too touching to be passed orer. 

" 2 Kings xvi. 5. 

1" This language, viewed in connection with the attack of fhe confederates and 
the exemption of Jadah in previoos Assyrian invasions, goes £ur to prove a former 
admission of vassalage to Assyria. Bat the want of any previous mention of 
tribute firom Judah on the Assyrian monuments teUs the other way. 

17 2 Kings xvi. 9. A mutilated inscription in the British Museum is said tc 
contain an imperfect notice of his defeat and death, ** An^os L iL 


received the submission of Mifenna^ king of Tyre, of Khanun, king 
of Gaza, of Mitinti, king of Ascalon, and of the people of Aradus, 
the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the IdumaBans. The king of 
Judah, at whose entreaty the war had been made, was summoned to 
Damascus to pay his homage to the conqueror,*' whose exactions 
appear to have reduced Judah to great misery. " Ahaz made Judah 
naked,." says the chronicler, and '* Tiglath-pilneser '* — for so he writes 
the king's name — " distressed him, but strengthened him not. For 
Ahaz took away a portion out of the Lord's house, and out of the 
house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it to the king of 
Assyria ; but he helped him not : " ^^ which may mean that he left 
him unprotected against the wild tribes around him. In the annals 
of the Assyrian king we find a record of his receipt of tribute from a 
king of Judah, whom he calls Tahu-khazi, which seems to stand for 
Jehoahaz.^ We also learn from his annals that on his return to 
Damascus Tiglath-pileser had another encounter with a son of Rezin, 
whose capital he took and destroyed. 

It was in these campaigns against Syria and Israel that Tiglath- 
pileser set the example of that far-sighted but cruel policy, which 
attempted to eradicate the feeling of local patriotism by trans- 
porting conquered peoples in mass to distant parts of his empire — a 
policy steadily pui^ued afterwards by the Ajssyrian and Babylonian 
kings. The Syrians of Damascus were removed to Kir, the very place 
whence the prophet Amos traces their original migration ; but its 
position is very uncertain.^ The whole Israelite population east of 
the Jordan, comprising the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, 
were removed to Halah, and Habor, and Hara («. e, Harran), and to 
the river Gozan ; names which have been clearly proved to denote 
the land of Mesopotamia Proper, upon and west of the Khabour — the 
very country from which Abraham started, at all events on the final 
stage of his migration to Palestine. Was it altogether without design 
that both populations were depoiied to their ancestral homes ? In 
Galilee the territory occupied by Tiglath-pileser seems to have reached 

^^ Professor Rawlinson points out the resemblance of this name to the JUatgetius, 
who is mentioned by Menander (Fr. I) as the father of Dido and Pygmalion. 
. «o 2 Kings xix. 10. " 2 Chron. xxviii. 20, 21. 

22 The kings of this name in Scripture are much too remote from this period to 
be meant ; and there can be no doubt but that the name stands for Ahaz. One 
plausible conjecture is that Jehaahaz was his real name, but the official chroniclers 
of Judah expressed their abhorrence for his memory by sti-iking off the sacred prefix, 
just as he had been refused burial in the royal sepulchre (2 Chron. xxviii. 27). 

*3 2King8XTi. 9; Amos i. 5; ix, 7. JKrisjoined with JF/am in Isaiah xxii. 6 ; 
and this conjunction is used in support, of the theory which derives the Semitic 
population of Syria, as well as of Palestine and Phoenicia, from the great plain at the 
head of the Persian Gulf. The more prevalent opinion makes Kir the valley of 
the JTur or Cyrus ; but we have no proof that the Assyrian empire extended to 
the north of the mountains of Armenia. (See the * Diet, of the Bible/ art. Kir), 


as far south as the plain of Esdraelon, \^here Megiddo (^Magidu) is 
named as a frontier fortress, in connection with Manasseh (MancLt- 
suah) and the city of Dur or Dora (Duru) upon the sea-coast. 

These campaigns appear to be placed by the newly discovered 
Assyrian Canon in the years b.c. 734, 733, and 732 ; and, on the 
same authority, the last year of Tiglath-pileser II. is B.C. 728-7. 

§ 6. Tiglath-pileser II. was succeeded by a king whose name, 
omitted from the Assyrian Canon, and not found on any monuments, 
is supplied both by the Book of Kings and by the historian Menan- 
der.** This was Shalmaneskb IV., who is familiar to us in Scripture 
as the destroyer of the kingdom of Samaria, though it seems that he 
did not live to complete the conquest. He reigned seven years 
(b.o. 727-721). In connection with the fall of the kingdom of Israel, 
his reign is memorable for the first collision between the Assyrian 
and Egyptian empires. 

An attentive reader of the Scripture narrative will observe three 
stages in his transactions with Hoshea, the last king of Israel, who 
had obtained the throne by^murdering the usurper Pekah. Prom the 
character given of him by the sacred writer, and from other indica- 
tions,^ it is probable that Hoshea had, at least, a patriotic sympathy 
with that movement for reform in Israel which breathes in the 
earnest exhortations of the prophet his namesake, and which was 
fostered by Hezekiah, who succeeded to the throne of Judah in 
Hoshea's third year (b.c. 726). It was probably about this time 
that Hoshea seized the occasion of a new reign in Assyria to refuse 
the payment of tribute ; but he submitted on Shalmaneser's marching 
against bim,^ not, however, till at least one of his cities had been 
treated after the true Assyrian fashion — *^as Shalman spoiled Beth- 
arbel in the day of battle : tJie mother was dashed to pieces upon her 
children/* ^ This was the first campaign. 

It was not long before Hoshea ventured again to refuse the tribute, 
in reliance on the support promised by the warlike Sabaco, king of 
Egypt.* But, before his ally could march to his support, he was 
seized by Shalmaneser — perhaps on a summons to the court to plead his 
excuse — and thrown into prison ; " cut off" — says the prophet — "as 
the foam upon the water." ^ This second blow was followed up by an 
invasion, in which *' the king of Assyria came up throughout ail the 
land,** and laid siege to Samaria, in the fourth year of Hezekiah and 

^* His monmnents may probably hare been destroyed by the usurper Sargon, 
who succeeded him. Some see in the omission of his name from the royal lists a 
sign that he himself was a usurper : but this is mere conjecture. 

^ 2 Kingrs xYii. 2 : see the * Student's O. T. History,' c. xziy. §§ 9, 10. 

" 2 Kings xvi. 3. 

^ Hosea x. 14. Here is a precedent for the retribution invoked in Psabn 
cxxxviL 9 ; for the spirit of Assyrian and Babylonian warfare was the same. 

^ 1 Kings XYii. 4. See chap. rii. § 14. » Hosea x. 7. 


the seventh of Hoshea (b.o. 723). The city was besieged for three 
years, till the 6th of Hezekiah and the 9th of Hoshea,'° when it 
was taken (Josephus says, by storm*^), and the whole remaining 
people of Israel were carried captive, partly to join their brethren of 
the former captivity " in Halah and Habor by the river of Gozan," 
and partly in the far remoter "cities of the Medes.**^ (The mention 
of " the king of Assyria " — ^no longer by the name of Shalmaneser — 
in tbe latter part of this narrative, is in remarkable agreement with 
the fact that Shalmaneser died before Samaria was taken.) 

It may have been daring the progress of the siege that he undertook 
a maritime campaign against Tyre with sixty ships manned by 800 
rowers from the Phoenician cities of Sidon, Old Tyre, and Acco.** The 
Tyrians, under their king Elulasus, with only twelve ships, gained a 
sea-fight and took 500 prisoners. The Assyrians then blockaded the 
city and cut off its aqueducts ; but the Tyrians dug pits and held 
out for five years. Here the fragment breaks off; but the failure of 
the blockade maybe probably inferred from the absence of the ** gods 
of Tyre " in Rabshakeh's list of Assyrian conquests.** 

§ 7. Shalmaneser died during the last year of the siege of Samaria, 
leaving only an infant son, Ninip'ilvya (i. e. Ninip is my god). The 
king's long absence may have prepared the way for a dynastic revo- 
lution,*' especially if he himself had been originally an adventurer. 
The throne was seized by the Tartan, or general in chief, a man of 
obscure birth, who assumed a royal name significant of his elevation, 
Sargon, or, more properly, Sarkin or Sar-yukin (the king [is'] esta- 
blished),^ The one solitary mention of his name in Scripture, and 
that but incidentally in a prophecy,*' and the confusion in our present 
text between him and his son Sennacherib, had brought his very 
existence into doubt, till the discovery of his annals in his magnifi- 
cent palace at Khorsabad revealed him as one of the most splendid 

«» 2 Kings xvu. 5 ; xviii. 9, 10. 

>^ Joseph. * Ant.' ix. 3 ; compare the highly poetical description in Isaiah 
xxviii. 1-4. » 2 Kings xvii. 6 ; xvUi. 11. 

^ Menander, op. Joseph. ' Ant.* ix. 18. It is probable, however, that Josephns — 
here as elsewhere — has confounded Shalmaneser with Sargon, and that this Tyrian 
war belongs to the latter king. ^ 2 Kings xviii. 33, 34. 

** See the remarks of Bawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. ii. pp. 406-7. 

^ M. Oppert, who prefers the form Sarkin, makes his original name BelpatU 
sassour. His obscure (that is, at all events, not royal) descent is inferred, as in 
the case of Tiglath-pileser II., from his merely general mention of former kings, 
of Babylonia as well as Assyria, as his ancestors. From this, and his name, he 
may probably have been a Babylonian ; an idea supported by his repairs of the 
temples of the Babylonian tetrapolis. It appears from the Canon of Eponymous 
Officers that Sargon reigned during his first three years in the name of the infant 
son of Shalmaneser, and only assumed sole authority in b.c. 718. But if, as 
there seems little doubt, his annals date firom his actual accession in b.c. 721, a« 
hia first yeoTt the fall of Samaria would be brought down to the same date. 

3^- Isaiah xx. 1. 


kings and most successful warriors of Assyria.*® He came to the 
throne, as he tells us, in the same year in which Merodach-Baladan 
became king of Babylon, that is, according to the Canon of Ptolemy, 
in March b.c. 721 ; and this date is confirmed by the capture of 
Samaria. His reign lasted seventeen years, till August B.c. 704, of 
which his annals embrace fifteen. They open with the following 
statements ; — 

" This is what I have done from the beginning of my reign to my 
fifteenth campaign. I defeated, in the plains of Chaldasa (Kalou) 
Khumbanigas, king of Elam." It will be remembered that Lower 
Chaldaja had been made tributary to Tiglath-pileser II., while native 
princes ruled in Upper Babylonia. He goes on : — ** I besieged, took, 
and occupied the city of Samaria, and carried away 27,280 persons 
who dwelt in it. I changed the former establishments of the country 
and set over them my lieutenants." This was in the first year of hia 
reign. The small number of captives, so precisely stated, proves the 
straits to which the city had been reduced. The people of the country 
had probably been carried into captivity by Shalmaneser, when " he 
came up throughout all the land."*' The new constitution of the 
country is emphatically mentioned, as it was contrary to the usual 
Assyrian policy of setting up dependent kings. It was required by 
the occupation of Samaria by deported settlers from Upper Babylonia 
and Hamath, for it is an error to suppose that the country was left 
desolate till Esar-haddon colonized it from Lower Babylonia.^ 

Sargon's next campaign was against Yahu-hid, an usui-ping king 
of Hamath, above Coele-Syria, at the head of a rebellion of several 
Syrian towns ; among which it is strange to find Damascus and 
Samaria reappear so soon. Kar-kar, their stronghold, was stormed 
and burned ; the insurgent was taken and flayed ; the other rebel 
chiefs were killed, and their towns destroyed. Saigon, bent on 
punishing Sabaco for the aid given to Hoshea, marched against 
Gaza, which belonged to Egypt. We have already had occasion to 
mention his great victory at Raphia over " Hanun, king of Gaza, and 
Sabaco (^SaVd\ sultan *^ of Egypt ; " of whom the former was carried 

^ The records of Sargon and his successors are edited and translated in M. 
Oppert's * Inscriptions des Sargonides.* An equally important -work is his recent 
* M^moire sur les Rapports de TEgypte et de I'Assyrie dans TAntiquit^,' 1869. 
Sargon's annals exist in two forms — on a cylinder, and in an inscription on the 
waU of the great hall of Khorsdbitd, 

«> 1 Kings xvii. 5. *« See below, § 9. 

*i There is some dispute about this title, which Sir H. Rawlinson reads 
Tar-danu (explaining it as a title of honour, high in rank)^ while M. Oppert 
makes it SH-tan, and considers it equivalent to the Hebrew Shilton and the Arabie 
Sultan. Either term denotes a rank below that of king. That Sargon did not 
regard Shebek as king of Egypt is clear firom the great inscription of Khorsabad, 
where mention is made in the very next paragraph of a " Pharaoh of Egypt *' 
who paid tribute to Assyria (comp. c. vii.). Raphia (still called Refah) lay 


prisoner to Assyria, while the latter fled. " They came into my pre- 
sence : I routed them" — are the words of the king. (b.o. 718-17.) 

§ 8. The next four years were occupied with wars to the north 
and east of Assyria. To this period chiefly, but partly to his later 
years, belong his conquests to the north and east, over the Armenians, 
the Albanians, the Syrians of Commagene, the people of the Taurus 
and Cilicia, the Medes,*' Parthians, and the mountaineers of Zagrus, 
and his defeat of Sutuk'Nakhunta, the king of Elam, who had his 
capital at Susa.*^ Sargon records that he " subdued the uncul- 
tivated plains of the remote Arabia which had never before given 
tribute to Assyria." On this occasion he transported some Arabs 
to Samaria, where Nehemiah mentions an Arabian element in the 
population.** He adds : — " I imposed tribute on Pharaoh (Ptr'w) of 
Egypt, on Tsamsi, queen of Arabia, on Ithamar the Sabaean^ in gold, 
spices, horses, and camels." (b.o. 714-713.) 

Three years later, a rebellion of Ashdod led — after some putting 
down and setting up of kings, which it is needless to recount — to the 
capture of that city,*'^ which gave Sargon the command of the mari- 
time route into Egypt ; and he peopled this important post with 
captives taken in his eastern wars : '' 1 set over them my lieutenant 
to govern them, and I treated them as Assyrians ;" — a phrase which 
always implies the complete subjugation of a country, as opposed 
to mere vassalage. This stroke of policy explains the ease with 
which succeeding Assyrian kings enter Egypt, and the obstinate 
resistance of Ashdod to Psammetichus.*^ There is no mention in 
the annals of Sargon of that invasion of Egypt, which some writers 
suppose him to have made. It would rather seem that he was 
content with the tribute and submission bi-ougbt to him in order to 
avert invasion. He represents the kings as resorting to him in 
consequence of " the immense terror which my majesty inspired." *^ 
This campaign of Ashdod, in Sargon's eleventh year (e.g. 711-710), 
was Sargon's last expedition to the west.*^ 

between Gaza and Rhinocurura, the frontier town of Egypt, about a day's march 
ttom each. 

43 The completion of the conquest of Media explains the settlement of the 
captive Israelites " in the cities of the Medes." 

^* The inscriptions of this king have been found at Susa. .' -^ 

^ Nehem. iv. 7 ; comp. ii. 19. 

4A It is on this occasion that we have the only mention of Sargon in the Scrip- 
ture (Is. XX. 1). The mission of the "Tartan*' {i.e. chief general) must have 
preceded that of the king, probably to instal the vassal, whose rejection after- 
wards provoked Sargon to march against the city. Probably the " three years," 
during which Isaiah gave a sign to the Egyptianizing party at Jerusalem, mark 
the whole duration of the war of Ashdod (b.c. 712-710, inclusive). In b.c. 712 
Sargon himself was reducing MUid (probably Melitene). 

^* See chap. viii. § 6. 

47 Respecting the submission of the King of Ethiopia, which Sargon here claims, 
see chap. vii. § 16. 

^ Jftbe date aaagned to the events noticed in 1 Kings zviii. 13 and Isaiah 


§ 9. The remainder of this reign was fully occupied with afiaiis 
nearer home. The chief of these was the conquest of Babylonia, 
where Merodach-Baladan had been on the throne twelve years.** 
This " king of Chaldaea," says Sargon, ** called to his aid Khum- 
banigas, king of £lam, and raised against me all the nomad tribes" 
— ^the Aramaeans of Irak-Araby, whom we have seen repeatedly 
in arms against the kings of Assyria. The extent to which Mero- 
dach-Baladan intrigued among the vassals of Assyria is proved by 
his embassy to congratulate Uezekiah on his miraculous recovery 
from his mortal illness. But the promptness of Sargon left the 
king of Judah no opportunity to declare openly for his ally ; and his 
ostentatious display of his resources to the ambassadors of Babylon 
called forth the prophecy of Isaiah, that this — and not Assyria 
— ^was the power to which Judah was destined to succumb, though 
not in his days.*^ 

Sargon marched against Babylon with all his forces ; and Merodach- 
Baladan, retreating into Chaldsea, took up a well fortified post in front 
of Bit-Yakin, or Dur-Yakin,^^ on the Euphrates, near its mouth. 
Defeated there, he threw himself into the city, and was taken 
prisoner at its capture. His life was spared, but his kingdom was 
placed imder an Assyrian viceroy, Nabu-pakUidi.^ Following 
that policy of transplantation, of which no Assyrian king made 
more constant use, Sargon settled his captives from Commagene in 
Lower Chaldasa and Susiana, and we can have little doubt that 
it was after the conquest of Babylon that he sent to Samaria those 
colonists from "Babylon, and Cuthah, and Sepharvaim," whose 
struggles form an interesting episode in the Scripture history.^ 

xxxvi. 1, were correct, we most infer an attack on Judah at the same time that 
the Tartan was sent to Ashdod, and we most then (as some have rashly proposed) 
read Sargon for Sennacherib ; for the " 14th year of Heaekiah" is b.c. 713-713, 
nine years before the accession of Sennacherib. But we shall presently see how 
I>erfectly the whole nftrratiTC hangs together with Sennacherib's account of his 
Syrian expedition (see the following chapter). 

^ It is the mention of this, inSargon's 12th year, that giyes us the synchronism 
of the two kings. 

M 2 Kings XX. ; Isaiah xxxix. ; 2 Chron. zxxii. 81. In the last passage 
the embassy is said to have been ** to enquire of the wonder done in the land ; " — 
an enquiry most natural in a people so dcToted to astronomy as the Babylonians ; 
and a good pretext for the other objects oi the embassy. 

*i That is, the hou»e or town of Faking the grandfEither of Merodach-Baladan. 
The names of Merodaeh-Bdladan mean ** Merodach has giren us a son.*' He is 
the Mardocempalus of Ptolemy. 

^ The Canon of Ptolemy places here a king of Babylon named Arceanus, whom 
M. Oppert supposes to be Sargon himself: Sarkma = {8)areeantu. 

*» 2 Kings xvii. 24, seq. The colonists fh)m Hamath (above Coele-Syria) were 
probably sent in after his devastation of that land in his second campaign. As to 
the distinction between this settlement and that under Esar-haddon, see below, 
chap. xiv. § 9. 


Among the spoils of Merodach-Baladan's camp are mentioned his 
golden tiara, sceptre, throne, and parasol, and his silver chariot. 

S 10. At Babylon, Saigon received two embassies, bringing the 
tribute sent by islanders who dwelt, he says, " in the midst of the 
seas ^ that washed the two extremites of his empire. The one was 
from Upir, king of Asmim, supposed to be an island of the Persian 
Gulf : the other from " the seven kings of the country of latnan 
(Cyprus), who," he says, " have fixed their abode at seven days' 
voyage** in the middle of the sea of the setting sun, and whose 
xuune was never pronounced by any one of the kings my fathers, in 
Assyria and in ChaldaBa." But his glory — he adds — had reached 
them, even in the midst of the sea, and, abasing their pride, they 
presented themselves at Babylon with their tribute of works in 
metal, gold, silver, vases, and ebony. The fact that he sent ian ex- 
pedition thither is confirmed by a stela found at Lamaca, the ancient 
Gitium, in Cyprus, similar to some already noticed, bearing the 
effigy and titles of Sargon.°* These embassies are assigned by an 
inscription to the year 708 B.C. If the supposition be correct, that 
Sargon conducted the maritime campaign against Tyre, which 
Josephus ascribes to Shalmaneser, that war may be reckoned a 
failure amidst so many successes ; — ^a fact rather confirmed than con- 
tradicted by the brief conclusion of the following boast : — " Arbiter 
of combats, I traversed the sea of Jamnia like a fish. I annexed 
Koui and Tyre." 

But inore serious reverses beset his closing years, especially from 
a new insurrection in Babylonia, where Merodach-Baladan recovered 
the throne. Sargon, perhaps too aged to take the field, entrusted 
the suppression of this rebellion to his son Sennacherib; and a 
tablet has been discovered at Koyunjik, containing a report from the 
son to the father of his ill success. This seems to belong to the 
interval after the cessation of Sargon's annals in B.C. 706. These 
reverses may have provoked the conspiracy which effected his 
assassination in August, b.c. 704. 

§ 11. By a curious fate, this king, whose very existence was 
so long doubted, was the first whose monuments were discovered, 
when his palace at Khorsahad revealed itself to the researches 
of M. Botta in 1842,^ It is from the walls of that palace, and the 
various tablets on gold, silver, and other materials, and from the 
clay cylinders discovered in the ruins, that Sargon's annals have 
been obtained. At the beginning of his reign, his residence was at 
Calah (Nimrud), where two inscriptions record his repairs of the 

M The real distance of Cyprus tram the coast of Syria is 65 miles. 

" This tablet is in the Berlin Museum. m g^e chap. zii. § 2. 



north-west palace, — that oi Asshur-nasir-pal.^ He also rebuilt the 
walls of Nineveh ; but it was his ambition to replace that capital 
by a new city and royal residence, which the inscriptions at 
Khorsabad prove to have been entirely his work, neither prepared 
by former nor improved or mutilated by later kings. The fidelity 
of tradition preserved the builder's name centuries after his WOTk 
had become a shapeless mound ; for an Arab geographer calls that 
mound " the old ruined city of Sarghun!^ 

The site chosen, about 10 miles N.N.E. of Nineveh, was at the 
foot of the Makloub hills, watered by streams which now make it a 
pestilential waste ; and we have — what is rare indeed in the history of 
great cities — the king's own account of its foundation : — " At the foot 
of the Musri hills, to replace Nineveh, I raised, after the divine will 
and the wishes of my hetuij, a city which I called HisT'Sargina,^ " the 
splendid marvels and superb streets of which, he adds, were blessed 
by great gods and goddesses whom he names. Describing the 
palace of incomparable splendour," which he built in this city, 
for the abode of his royalty," he recounts the choice kinds of 
timber ; the beams cased with enamelled tiles ; the spiral staircase 
imitated from a Syrian temple; the stones from the moimtain 
sculptured with art ; the decorations of the lintels and jambs of the 
gates. Of its ornamentation and treasures he says : — " My palace 
contains gold, silver, and vessels of both these metals ; colours ; 
iron ; the productions of many mines ; stuffs dyed with saffron, blue 
and purple robes, amber, skins of sea-calves, pearl, sandal- wood, and 
ebony; Egyptian horses; asses, mules, camels; booty of every 
kind." These magniticent boasts are sustained even by the ruins 
that survive after twenty-five centuries. "Compared with the 
later, and even with the earlier buildings of a similar kind erected 
by other kings, it was not remarkable for its size. But its orna- 
mentation was unsurpassed by that of any Assyrian edifice, with 
the single exception of the great palace of Asshur-bani-pal at 
Koyunjik. Covered with sculptures, both internally and externally, 
generally in two lines, one over;the other, and, above this, adorned 
with enamelled bricks, arranged in elegant and tasteful patterns ; 
approached by noble flights of steps and through splendid pro- 
pylaea ; having the advantage, moreover, of standing by itself, and 
of not being interfered with by any other edifice, it had peculiar 
beauties of its own, and may be pronounced in many respects the 

^^ One of these contains the name of Juddh {Jdhouda), It is convenient to 
mention here Sargon's restoration of the great sanctuaries of the Babylonian 
tetrapolis, — at Sippara, Nipur, Babylon, and Borsippa. 

^ Other forms of the name are Bit'^rgkM voADur^kargina (the hou*€ ox fori 

of Sargon). 


most interesting of the ABSTrian buildings. United to this palace 
was a town, enclosed by strong walls, which formed a square two 
thoasand j^ards each way. Allowing 
fifty square yards to each individual, 
this space wonid have heen capahle 
of aecoinmodating eighty thousand 

" The prepress of mimetic art under 
Sa^on is not striking; but there are 
indications of an advance in several 
branches of industry, and of an im- 
proved taste in design and ornamenta- 
tion. Trantparent glass seems now 
y^ivaB^^S^^^H to have -been first brought into uset"* 
' .'i^SmBBtima^^P and intagliot to have been first cut 

upon h^ stooes. The furniture of 
Qiw Vim. bMring the mnu of the period is generally superior in de- 
Sugon, from Kininid. . ' ■ . j. 3 j 

Sign to any previously represented, and 
the modelling of sword-hilts, macee, armleta, and other ornaments, 
is peculiarly good. The enamelling of lH-icks was carried, under 
Sargon, t« ito greatest perfection; and the shape of vases, goblets, 
and boats, shows a marked improvement upon the works of former 
times. The advance in animal forms, tiaceable in the sculptures 
of Tiglath-pileser, continuea ; and the drawing of horses' heads, in 
particular, leaves little to desire." ^ 

** At all eranta. llic earlleat kneam speclmenB )a» ot (bli leign. AmoD^ Ihem 
It tbe ule^rsted glua rur, now in the British MuMum, inuribed wltb tha nune 
ot Suisse. Regpectliig the AMyiian glu> in genenl, anil egpeciilly its iridescent 
oolDnn. due to partial decomposilioii, >ee Blr SiTid BrEniler'i " Nolea on AuTrisn 
OIbh," In the Appendli to La^rd'a ■ Ninevpli aod B&hylon.' 

*° Bawliiuon, ■ Five Monuchles,' toI. il. pp. 434-12S. For h full deicription 
of the palsce, and of the remaim of the Iowa and its lampleii, aee the sune work, 
TDl. 1. pp. iSi-e, 35S-3Si, 4OT^0S ; vol. it. pp. S41, 3.17 ; and Mr. Laraid'a 

King pnnlahing PrlwiKrB (EhoTBabtd). 




B.C. 704-625. 

red ucdlu, lod looDiimeDUl bistoi?. Hla voln- 
IB. 4 a. PntliAbJft tTODbLei In Sargon's Uter yan^ Kevolt or Babylonia. 
. by SeDosdierlb. $ 3. Eeconqupst of FbsnLdA, &c. Qreat Flcuiry of 
ths Egypliims uid Kthioplaiu. } 4- IU« flnt atudi on HeieUalL De- 
Judah, Sie^ aDd defence of Jenualem. HeieUah submit^ by pmyment 
buL BKFeB hit cLty vid pcoplo, DatnicLlon of Setmacber^a aimy, ^ s. 
udpalgm, Wbm Kllli Babylon. Maritime lomlini of Snalaoa. (Tew 
bylonia. Victory at Khaluli, Tlie Ung'a docilptlan. I) 8. Babylon 


at Hiapg 

Deveh i^KBym^ik). $ r. EaAi- 

. Waing 

JtSldon. Cap. 

I In Cillda, Idum 

i. Fint ai 

ft, AraUa. Media. & 

wllb Egypt, i 10. Hie grut bulLdlnga. l-abiceB at Galab, BiibyloD, aod Nloeveta 
(JfObi'Jimai). Hie choneCer and place In btilory. t "--^i^nB-UNi-rAi. Hia 
IdvbbLoui of Egypt. Wan In PtiiBnlclft and CIIIcUl Coatact with Oyge^ King of 
Lydla. 4 l^- ^reat wan with SosUiia and Babylon — repnAented on bli baA-reliBb 
Id ttae British UuBimn. Croellleg to the capUna. f 13. Uis palace at Kaywyile 

^ Ifi. Auhnr-ciAid^tn. HJa palace at ninrud, ErldenAH of tbe dfcline and d«- 
■tmctlon of Nineveh. $ 10. FragQienraiy atc^ea of Heiodotni and other VTiteiB. 
Atlaclu of tbe Medea. Cyaiaica takea NlneTah. $ It. Bhare of Babylon and 
IfabopDlaasar In tbe event. iSOrocuf, tbe laat king, banii blmadf with hie palace. 
i 1& CaiUM of the fall ot Aj^Tla bi tha nature of ber einpto«, { 19. Vivid deeriip- 
ttODB of tbe propheta Eukiel, tlatamn, and Zejdianiali. ^ 20. Epoob of ttae Tall oC 
Hl!»ev*h. Wfferenl Tie"?. 


§ 1. In the reign of Sennacherib,' the son and successor of Sargon, 
we have the most definite results of the recent Assyrian discoveries. 
In most cases the names recovered from the monuments of Egypt and 
Assyria are either strange to history, or they are variously read, or it 
requires some ingenuity and perhaps faith to identify them with 
known persons. But here is a name familiar to our childhood, from 
its occurrence in one of the most striking scenes of Jewish history — 
the more familiar, perhaps, from its uncouth sound; occurring in 
Herodotus with the slightest difiference of orthography,^ and now 
plainly deciphered in the king's own inscriptions.^ More than this, 
the great enemy of Judah and Hezekiah, whose conquests are boasted 
by " railing Rabshakeh " just before 

*' He melted like snow at the breath of the Lord," 

has left us his own records in the longest of Assyrian annals ; and 
his palace at Koyunjik^ perhaps the grandest yet displayed, was the 
first discovered on the site of Nineveh itself, and the one from which 
our Museum possesses the richest gleanings, even exceeding those 
from the N.W. palace of Nimrvd, 

His reign lasted 24 years (b.o. 704-680),* for all but three of 
which (at least) ' we possess his annals in the remarkable document 
called the " Taylor Cylinder," a six-sided prism of terra-cotta, in- 
scribed with 480 lines of writing in an exceedingly fine and minute 
character.' Besides this and some other monumental records, Euse- 
bius gives some fragments from Polyhistor, which are the sole 
authority for the last few years of Sennacherib's reign, except the 
Scriptural notice of his death. 

1 In Aseijrriaii, 8in-akhl4rib, i.e. Sin (the Moon God) tuu multiplied (my) brethren. 

* %avaxcipifio9, Herod. iL 141. 

> His name la one of the few abont the ph4)netie value of which there Is so little doubt 
that, amidst the varied spellings (differing chiefly in cooseqaenoe of the usages of the 
modem languages employed by the interpreters) the tound is essentially the same ; 
while all are agreed upon the meaning. 

* After all the pains taken to settle the qmchronisms of Assyrian, Jewish, and 
Egyptian history, there is still a slight difference among the best authorities, between 
the years f04 and f 02 B.O.; but the lately dlsoovered Assyrian Canon seems to fix Senna- 
cherib's accession to the former year. 

s The campaigni, however, are interrupted by unknown intervals, and are not always 
assigned to their respective years. 

< The date of the Taylor Cylinder (which may be seen In the British Museum) is in 
the year of office of Bd'Simiani, who stands in the TaiUe of Eponyme both for the 16 th 
and 21st years of Sennacherib. Sir H. Rawlinson assigns the former date to the cylinder, 
M Oppert the latter. An abstract of the document first appeared In Sir H. Rawlinson's 
• Outlines of Assyrian History,' 1852 ; and full translations have been made by Mr. Fox 
Talbot (' Journal of the Asiatic Society,' voL xix. pp. 135-181) and by M. Oppert 
(' Inscriptions des Sargonldes,' pp. 41-53). For the king's first four years, we have also 
in the British Museum the ' Bellini Cylinder,' inscribed with an account of bis first two 
campaigns and of his earlier buildings at Nineveh. It is translated in Mr. Fox Talbot's 
< Assyriun Texts,' pp. 1-9. The annals of his first six years are recorded in two inscrip- 
tions, one on the pair of colossal bulls flanking the entrance to his palace at Koytmjik, 
and the otlfef 0n dupMc&ie) on the two pairs of bulls on the facade at each side of the 


§ 2. The troubles of the latter part of Sargon's reign left his son 
master of little beyond Assyria Proper. We find Babylon in open 
revolt, and Sennacherib does not attempt its reconquest till the third 
year of his reign. The Canon of Ptolemy marks a period of anarchy 
for the two years between the death of Arceanus (§argon) and the 
accession of Belibus in b.c. 702. The annals of Sennacherib begin 
with a victory over Merodach-Baladan and his Elamite allies, at 
Kis, in Chaldaea, followed by the capture of Babylon, where he sets 
up a vassal king, named BeUvpni (Belibus). Merodach-Baladan once 
more escaped. We pass over the vast items of captured cities* 
prisoners, and plunder. In his second campaign (b.c. 701) he restored, 
and perhaps extended, his power in Media, Parthia, Armenia, Albania, 
and Commagene. 

§ 3. The third campaign of Sennacherib, in b.c. 700, brings his 
annals into contact with the Scriptiure history ; and the results are 
as wonderful for the light gained irom the apparent discrepancies, 
as for their striking agreement in all essential points. The evidence 
is the stronger, as we possess two or three repetitions of the story in 
different inscriptions.^ 

He first marched against Phoenicia, which had revolted, like Baby- 
lon at the other extremity of the empire — under EUndi or LtUiya 
(EluUeus), king of the Sidonians ; and the revolt extended to '' the 
Great and Little Sidon, Betzitti, Sarepta, Ecdippa, and Akko." The 
Assyrian — ^who strikes this key-note of his annals, " I have reduced 
beneath my power all who lifted up the head " — ^relates neither the 
circumstances of the insurrection nor the details of his conquest. 
'' Terrified at the reputation of his majesty," Elouli flies across the 
sea, and Toubaal is made king in his room. The rebel cities submit, 
and tribute is brought by the kings of Sidon, Aradus, Azotus, 
Ammon, Moab, and Edom, all of whom are named.* Sidka, of Asca- 
lon, who alone ^resisted, was carried captive to Assyria, with his 
family and his gods. 

Sennacherib advanced south to Migron (which some suppose to be 
Ekron) where the (Assyrian) lieutenants and dignitaries had joined 

entranoe. The other oric^nal materials for SemiAdieriVs history are the lincriptioiis on 
the walls of his palace, on detached slabs* cm tablets ofday, and oo the monmnents carved 
by hhn on the rocks at Bavian, at the UMrath of the Kakr^Kdb in ^Tria, and hi other 
parts of his dominions. 

7 After much oondderation, we feel pretty certain that M. Oppert is r^t in njecting 
Sir U. Rawlinson's suggestion of two campaigns. No farm of historical hypothesis is 
more sospicioDs than the dMpUcation of events or persons to get over a dilflcolty. The 
points in the Bible, whidi have been thooght to require it^may be explained otherwise ; 
and the annals of Sennacherib sppemr to leave no room for the second eiqwditlon. 

* It is interesting, eqpedally with reference to the newly discovered Ifoabite inscrip- 
tion, in which the national god CfkemoA is so often mentioned, and MeMka, king of 
Moab, calls himself son of a king in whose name * CbemoBh** is an element, to find 
the Moabite king of Sennadierib'sinscriptlon named X<mwm> unodK, 


with the i)eople in expelling Padi, a king " inspired with friendship 
and zeal for Assyria," and had given him up to " Hezekiah, king 
of Judah." Sennacherib's great victory at Altaku over the forces of 
Egypt and Ethiopia, which the men of Migron had called to their 
aid, has been related, and the light it throws on the state of Egypt 
explained, in the proper place.® It now remains to show the part 
of Judah in the campaign. 

In relating the prosperity which rewarded the piety of Hezekiah, 
the sacred historian says, — " And the Lord was with him, and he 
prospered whithersoever he went forth ; and he rebelled against the 
King of Assyria, and served him not. He smote the Philistines even 
unto Gaza and the borders thereof," ^° &c. Hence it appears that 
Hezekiah, — taking advantage probably of the weakness of Egypt 
and Ethiopia after the battle of Raphia on the one hand, and of 
the troubles of Sargon's later years on the other, had extended bis 
power as far as the maritime plain of Philistia,, and declared bis 
independence of Assyria ; for the words " he served him not " imply 
no modified form of disobedience. To chastise this revolt would be 
the first object 'of Sennacherib after the submission of Migron, where 
the "lieutenants and dignitaries" were killed and their bodies 
crucified, as traitors, and Padi was restored. 

§ 4. " Hezekiah of Judah" made no attempt to retain the Ekron- 
ite king, but " did not submit himself." The ensuing account of 
the capture of " 44 walled cities and an infinite number of towns, 
by the force of fire, massacre, battles, and besieging-towers," with 
the captivity of 200,150 persons, and innumerable cattle, forms a 
truly Assyrian comment qn the text, " Now in the fourteenth year 
of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib, king of Assyria, come up against 
all the fenced cities of Judah and took them." ^^ 

The agreement in what follows is even more striking. The Book 
of Chronicles records the vigorous preparations of Hezekiah to 
defend Jerusalem against the siege which Sennacherib appears to 

» Chap, viL $ 16. 

w 2 Kings xviii. 7, 8 (comp. 1 Chron. iv. 41 ; Isaiah xlv. 29-32). The passage stands at 
the b^innlng of Hezekiah's reign, as a summary of his prosperity, not in order of 
time. His religious reformation must bave occupied some years ; and accordingly, in 
the fuller account of 2 Chron. zxix.-xzxi., the next event recorded, " after these things 
and the establishment thereof," is the Invasion of Judah by Sennacherib. (Here also 
the margfai of our Version gives the mistaken date of the 14th year of Hezekiah.) 

11 I Kings xviii. 13; Isaiah xxxvi. i ; 2 Chron. xxxii 1. The date In Kingt and 
Jmxah, which cannot possibly apply to this occasion (see chap. xlli. $ 9), is not given 
m Chronv^. On the contrary, the invasion is placed after the " establishment " of Heze- 
kiah's religious reformation, for the completion of which the years of peace ensuing 
upon Sargon's last Syrian campaigns would afiTord free scope. The error of the date 
™^r», *^® arisen, partly from the displacement of the account of Hezekiah's Ulnees 
wmch was in his fourteenth year, and partly from the Uci that the Invasion was in the 
fourteenth year (Inclusive) after his iUness. 


have formed.^^ "As for him" — say the annals, after describing 
the devastation of Judasa — " I shut him up in Jerusalem, the city 
of his power " — a sort of apology for not taking it — " like a bird in 
its cage. I built towers round the city to hem him in, and raised 
banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape. Those who 
came out of the great gate of the city were seized and made prisoners " 
— perhaps impaled, as we see in a picture of a siege on the walls of 
Sennacherib's palace. " The towns which I had spoiled I severed 
from his country, and gave them to Mitinti, king of Azotus, to Padi, 
king of Migron, and to Ismihil, king of Gaza, so as to make his 
country small. Then the immense fear of my majesty terrified this 
Hezekiah of Judah;" whose real spirit, however, is recorded on 
better testimony — how " he gathered the people together in the 
street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably unto them, 
saying, 5© strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for 
the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him.: for 
there be more with us than with him : with him is an arm of flesh ; 
but with us is the Lord our God, to help us, and to fight our battles. 
And the people rested themsel;ires upon the words of Hezekiah, king 
of Judah." " 

At first sight it might seem that — to quote a famous saying in a 
connection which brings its profanity to light — " providence was on 
the side of strong battalions." For not only does Sennacherib pro- 
ceed to tell us that " Hezekiah," moved by the fear imputed to him, 
"dismissed the garrison which he had assembled for the defence of 
Jerusalem,'* and sent after me to Nineveh, the city of my sove- 
reignty, with 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver ^^ and other 
gifts which he enumerates ; — but we read in the Book of Kings that 
" Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent to the king of Assyria, saying, I 
have offended : return from me : that which thou puttest on me 
■will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah 300 
talents of silver and 30 talents of goldj* ^^ Studied in connection with 

IS The opinion that Sennacherib appeared in person before Jerusalem on this occasion, 
seems contradicted by 2 Chron. xxxii. 2, 9, and 2 Kings xix. 32. That the si^^e and the 
oocnpation of Judaea were so strict as to suspend all cultivation of the land, appears 
IVom 2 Kings xix. 29. " 2 Chron. xxxil. 7, 9. 

^* It will be observed that the king's narrative confirms the account of the defence 
given in Chronicles. On the other hand, the submission of Hezekiah, <nnitted in the 
C^ronidet — ^like other calamitous events in the history of Judah— is duly recorded in 

IS 2 Kings zviii. 14-16. The agreement in the amount of the gold is very striking ; 
and the difference in the amount of the silver (to say nothing of a possible error in the 
Assyrian or Hebrew text) may be explained by the metal in bars and vessels included in 
the 800 talents, but not in the 300 ; perhaps as a propitiatory present in addition to the 
stipulated sum. There Is, however, one of those apparent discrepancies, which turn out 
to be more instructive than literal agreement. Sennacherib says that the gifts were 
sent to him at Ninev<:h : but the Scripture narrative expressly says that they were 
sent to him at Lachith. The explanation seems to be that the treasures, &c, would b^ 


the attendant circumstances, this is the record of a treaty of sub- 
mission, at the cost of a heavy tribute, instead of the utter destruc- 
tion which the Assyrian kings were wont to inflict on rebellious 
cities and their kings, llie firm resistance of Hezekiah saved his 
capital, his own life, and his people from captivity, and reserved 
them for that deliverance from the conqueror in which we see the 
final issue of his trust in God. 

During these proceedings, Sennacherib was besieging Lachish with 
his full force.*' He seems to have counted on the submission of 
Jerusalem, while he himself was clearing the way to Egypt. The 
victory of Altaku may have been less complete than his annals 
represent it ; and the sequel proves that there was good reason to 
expect a renewed attack from Tirhakah. Meanwhile, having stripped 
Hezekiah of his wealth and strength, he designed to follow up his 
exactions by extermination . Three of his chief officers were sent with 
a great host against Jerusalem, to defy the helpless king, and to 
invite the people to accept a complete transplantation, recommended 
by the pictures which despots and their admirers are fond of draw- 
ing of the material blessings attendant on political servitude.'^ 
The tone of this celebrated address so strikingly resembles the 
Assyrian annals, as to leave little doubt that at least the king's own 
message was couched (as on the next occasion) in a letter, of which 
we have the]substance. The opening, " Thus saith the great Mng^ the 
^i^f of Assyria*^ repeats a constant title ; and the boast of the power 
of his gods over those of the conquered peoples agrees with the fre- 
quent statement, that " the immense fear of Asshur fell upon the 
nations." The piety of Hezekiah obtained the promise that Jehovah 
would accept the challenge ; and no answer was given to the 

Meanwhile Sennacherib had advanced to the place where that 
promise was fulfilled ; notf as the careless reader of the Scripture 
narrative thinks^ and as even Josephus says, before Jerusalem^ but 
on the frontier of the Jewish territory towards Egypt. This is quite 

sent on to Assyria; and when Sennacherib returned, after the overthrow of his army, 
—(perhaps, even, overtaking the convoy In his hasty flight) — ^he would claim these 
spoils of the campaign as evidence of victory. We have ample proof that the Asqrrian 
annals could " lie like a bulletin." 

10 2 Chron. zzxii. 9. Tliis passage seems decisive of the continuity of the campaign 
on the frontier towards Egypt. The question, whether the Investment of Jerusalem, 
and the partial submission of Hezekiah preceded the mission of the three officers (as it 
stands in Kings), may perhaps be solved by supposing that their force formed the siege, 
and continued before the city, while summonses and answers passed and repassed be- 
tween the head-quarters at Lachish and Jerusalem. The importance of the si^^ of 
Lachish is manifest from the notices of the city in Scripture, as one of the strongest on 
the frontier of Judah towards the maritime plain (see esp. Josh. x. 3, 5, 26, 31-33, 35.). 

17 2 Kings xviii. 7— xx. 1 ; 2 Chron. xxiii. 9-16 ; Isaiah xxxvi. 2— xxxvU. 1, The 
three officers are specified by their titles ; namely, the Tartan, or '< chief general " (as in 
iMlab XX. 1), Balhtaru, the " chief -eunuch/' and Rab-shakeh, the ** chief cnp-boarer." 


clear : — " So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria 
warring against lAbnah; for he had heard that he was departed 
from La^hish. And when he heard say of Tirhakah, king of 
Ethiopia, Behold he is come out to fight against thee, he sent mes- 
sengers to Hezekiah."^* This new message, which was accompanied 
by a letter of open defiance to the God of Israel, called forth the 
final promise of the destruction of the Assyrian and the salvation 
of Jerusalem. It was in the same night, and (as it seems) before 
the warlike Ethiopian came upon the field, that a miraculous 
destruction swept away a vast number of the Assyrian host, and 
Sennacherib himself returned to Nineveh.^' 

On that great catastrophe the monuments of Sennacherib are 
silent, as might have been expected. Even the siege of Lachish 
is not mentioned in the annals ; but it forms the subject of a bas-relief 
at Koyunjik, now in our Museum, with the inscription, " Sennacherib, 
the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the 
throne of judgment before the city of Lakhisha. I give permission 
for its slaughter." This was the last attempt of Assyria upon Judaea ; 
and it is refreshing, in the long annals of her despotism, to mark 
the triumph of a purer polity and religion. The promise of the 
complete liberation from Assyria was fulfilled, " That I will break 
the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains-tread him under 
foot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burthen 
depart from their shoulders." ^ 

§ 5. Of Sennacherib's other campaigns, the most important are 
those connected with the frequent revolutions of Babylon. In 
B.C. 699 he had again to encounter the irrepressible Merodach- 
Baladan, who was once more defeated in Ghaldaea and driven to an 
island in the Persian Gulf, where he died. Sennacherib deposed 
Belibus, and placed on the throne his own eldest son, Asshur^ 
inadi-su, the Assaranadius of Ptolemy's Canon. But the Babylonian 
insurgents, instead of submitting, took refuge in Susiana with 
Kvdur^Nahhunta, the ally of Merodach-Baladan ; and Sennacherib 

1" 2 Kings six. 8, 9 ; Isaiah xxxvi 8, 9. We have had oocasion to speak of the site 
of Libnah In noticing the striking confirmation of the scriptaral account ftunished 
(though in a distorted form) by the story told by the Egyptian priests to Herodotus. 
Whether Lachish was actually taken, does not appear ftom the Scripture narrative ; 
and the silence of Sennacherib's annals increases the probability that the monument , 
referred to presently, was a boast to gloss over a disaster. It seems most likely that he 
broke up the siege and advanced to Libnah to crush Pharaoh, the ** bruised reed " before 
the arrival of Tirbakah. (See chap. vii. $ 16.) 

» 2 Kings xix. 35, 36 ; 2 Chron. xxxii. 21 ; Isaiah xzxvii. 36, 3f . The number of 
those who perislftd Is stated at 185,000; which may be exi^erated, like so many other 
numbers in the onUnary Hebrew text. We are not to suppose that Vit trftoZtf army was 
destroyed ; and the Chronides specifies '* all the mighty men of valour and the leaders 
and captains." The secondary agency is usually supposed to be a pestilence, caused 
(if the event oocnrred at or near Pelusium) by the malaria of the Delta marshes. 

» Isaiah ztr. 26. 

288 The new Assyrian empire. book it 

conceived the novel project of invading that country from the sea. 
For this purpose he transported shipwrights and mariners from 
Tyre and Sidon to the Tigris, where a fleet was built on Phoenician 
models ; for the warfare of the Mediterranean had created a class of 
ships far fitter for service than the merchantmen in which the 
Chaldaeans had long navigated their peaceful Gulf. "The masts 
and sails, the double tiers of oars, the sharp beaks of the Phoenician 
ships, were (it is probable) novelties to the nations of those parts, 
who saw now, for the first time, a fleet debouch from the Tigris 
with which their own vessels were quite incapable of contending." *^ 

This attack from the sea seems to have taken the refugees by 
surprise; and Sennacherib, after destroying their new city and 
several Elamite towns, sailed back to crush a new revolt of Baby- 
lonia, which had risen in his rear under Susuh, an old ally of Mero- 
dach-Baladan. The king gained two battles against the insurgents 
and the Susianians, who afterwards came to their aid ; and Susub 
was carried a prisoner to Assyria, with a host of captive Babylonians 
and Elymaeans. These campaigns, which occupied three years 
(B.C. 699-696), were followed by another invasion of Susiana, for 
the recovery of certain cities which Sutruk-Nakhunta, the father of 
Kudur-Nakhunta, had taken from Sargon.^ Having soon accom- 
plished this, Sennacherib pursued his success, taking, razing, and 
burning thirty-four large towns and many villages. On his approach 
to Vadakat^ the second city of Susiana, Kudur-Nakhunta fled to 
KhiddlUy at the foot of the mountains; and Sennacherib, having 
taken Badaca, returned home with a great booty. The king of 
Elam seems to have survived his defeat only three months. 

§ 6. After a few years of peace, Sennacherib was called to meet a 
still more formidable insurrection of Babylonia, which broke out on 
the death of Asshur-inadi-su, under Ndbdbalariskun (or Nebosu- 
miskuTi), son of Merodach-Baladan, and Susub, who had escaped 
from prison. The insurgents were supported by the new king of 
Elam, Umman-minan, whom Susub bribed with the treasures of 
the temple of Bel, and by the Aramagan tribes on the middle 
Euphrates. This time the insurgents took the ofiFensive, and advanced 
to the Tigris, where, after a long and bloody battle, thejr were 
defeated at KhalulL The general of the Elymaean king had been 
bribed by Sennacherib, who thus exults over the horrors of a 
victory as decisive as that of Altaku had been : — " On the sodden 
battle-field, the arms and armour floated in the blood of the enemies 
as in a river ; for the war-chariots, bearing down men and horses, 

21 Rawllnson, ' Five Monarchies,' vol. ii. p. 449. 
32 Here is an incidental confession of some of Sargon's reverses. 
^ Tbia is tibe Badava which Diodoms places on the Eulseus, between Susa and 


had crushed their bleeding bodies and limbs. I heaped np the 
bodies of their soldiers as trophies, and cut off their extremities. 
I mutilated those whom I took alive, like stalks of straw ; and for 
punishment, I cut oflf their hands." Susub ^ and the Elamite king 
escaped, and the son of Merodach was taken prisoner. Babylon 
was now placed under two successive viceroys, Regibelus and 
Mesesimordachus, whom the Canon of Ptolemy places in the 12th 
and 13th years of Sennacherib, B.C. 693 and 692. 

That Babylon again threw off the yoke of Assyria, may be 
inferred from the CamyrCs marking an interregnum ** from B.C. 688 to 
the accession of Esar-haddon, in B.C. 680. Thrice during this 
period Sennacherib records successful rebellions by Susub (b.c. 688, 
685, and 684-3), and though he boasts of the sack of Babylon on 
the last occasion, the silence of his annals for the last three years 
raises a presumption of disaster, or at least disorder. It is such 
periods of reverse that conspirators, especially in the royal family, 
choose for their attempts on a king's life. It may have been after 
some great defeat (though long since the catastrophe in Palestine) 
that, "as Sennacherib was worshipping in the house of Nisroch 
his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the 
sword ; and they escaped into the land of Armenia* And Esar-haddon, 
his son, reigned in his stead." ^ 

Such was the end of the first of those two mighty kings who stand 
forth in Scripture history as the chief types of Oriental despotism ; 
and if in Nebuchadnezzar we trace some redeeming features of the 
character, Sennacherib presents it in its unmitigated ferocity. His 
arrogant defiance of Jehovah, by the mouth of Rdbshakeh, is well 
matched by the titles assumed in his own annals :-^" The great 
king, the powerful king, the king of nations, the king of Assyria, 
the king of the four regions, the diligent ruler, the favourite of ^e 
great gods, the observer of sworn faith, the guardian of the law, 
the embellisher of public buildings, the noble hero, the strong 
warrior, the first of kings, the punisher of unbelievers,^ the 
destroyer of wicked men.*' 

Besides the graver lessons of his reign, he has left us a striking 
example of that irony which history is ever casting over the 
utterances of men about the future, in the words inscribed on his 
** palace of alabaster and cedar '* at Nineveh : — " This palace will 
grow old and fall in ruins in the lapse of time. Let my successor 

M His reign, though omitted by Ptolemy, is proved by the date of a contract for the 
sale of some land on a tablet in the British Museum. 

*s The words vrr\ apa(ri\€VTa in the Canon always indicate * periods of extreme dis- 
turbance, when pretender succeeded to prei ender, or when the country was split up into 
a number of petty kingdoms " (RawUnson, * Five Monarchies,' voL ii. p. 455). 

M 2 Kings xiz. 37 ; Isaiah xxzvil. 38. 

S7 Blasphemers are represented on his monmneatA \]A'vVd% 1&»\s \odigqi.«% Vatcv ciqX.. 


raise up its ruins; let him restore the lines which contain the 
writing of my name. Let him renovate the paintings and clean the 
bas-reliefs, and replace them on the walls. Then will Asshur and 
Ishtar hear his prayer. But whoever should deface the writing of 
my name, may Asshur, the great god, the father of the gods, treat 
him as a rebel ; may he take away his sceptre and his throne ; may 
he break his sword ! *' Two or three generations only passed away, 
before the palace and Nineveh were buried under their own ruins ; 
and, twenty-five centuries later, the bas-reliefs were "cleaned and 
replaced on the walls " of our Museum, and " the writing of his name " 
and his annals were deciphered, to confirm a free people, who inherit 
the faith against which he warred, in our belief of the sacred records, 
and our abhorrence of all despotism. 

After the details already given of the North- West Palace of 
Nvmrvd and its sculptures, it is needless to describe those of Sen- 
nacherib at Koyunjik,^ The edifice formed part of a grand scheme 
for the restoration of Nineveh, which had been neglected by former 
kings for Calah, and by his father for his new city of Dur-Sargina 
{Khorsahad). An inscription of Sennacherib says : — " I have raised 
again all the edifices of Nineveh, my royal city. I have recon- 
structed its old streets, and have widened those which were too 
narrow. I have made the whole town a city shining like the sun." 
§ 7. EsAR-HADDON,® the fourth son of Sennacherib, appears to 
have already reconquered Babylon at the time of his father's 
murder, and to have used the forces of that kingdom, first to compel 
his traitor brothers to fly to Armenia, and next to resist the attempt 
of the elder to regain the crown. Adrammelech, leading into 
Assyria an army of mercenaries, probably levied in Armenia, was 
taken prisoner and put to death.^** He alone, of all the Assyrian 
kings, reigned at Bajjylon during his whole reign at Nineveh — 
perhaps even longer, for there is reason to suppose that the crown 
of Assyria was delegated to one of his sons towards the end of his 
reign. He not only reigned over, but cut Babylon, as we shall see 
presently. His reign over Babylon is fixed, by the Canon of 
Ptolemy, from b.o. 680 to b.o. 667. During these thirteen years, 
his annals, which we possess in duplicate on two cylinders in the 

M A minute description is the less necessary as the sculptnres in the British Musenm 
BO clearly tell their own story— for the art of Sennacherib is peculiarly realistic. Full 
descriptions of the palace and its ornaments, and the history of its discovery, are accessible 
to every reader in Mr. Layard's two smaller books, on ' Nineveh and its Remains,' and 
* Nineveh and Babylon,' each forming one volume, 1867. 

» This is the Hebrew form (as given In our version, but Asmr-hadion would be 
better) of the Assyrian name, Aishur-akh-idin, (or iddina), i.e. Asshur give (ur has 
given) a brother. Ptolemy has 'Ao-apiSii/oc. Josephus 'A<r<rapx6B8as, and the Armenian 
Chronicle of Eusebins gives Asordanes aiid Axe^-iiis. 

*" AbydeDUS, ap. Euaeb. ' Cbron.' 


British Museum, contain the records of nine campaigns ; and those 
of his son add some important details of his later years.*^ 

The full subjection of Babylonia left hipi at liberty to restore the 
power of Assyria in the West, and to carry her arras for the first time 
into Egypt. His first campaign was against Phcenicia; where a 
revolt of Sidon was supported by one of the sheikhs of LebaDon, 
He says : — " 1 attacked the city of Sidon, in the midst of the sea : 
I put to death all its chief men : I razed its walls and houses, and 
threw them into the sea : I tore up the foundations of its altars. 
Abdi'Milkut, the king of the city, had fled from my power to 
the middle of the sea. Like a fish, 1 traversed the waves, and beat 
down his pride. I carried away all that I could of his treasures, 
gold, silver, precious stones, amber, seal-skins, sandal-wood and 
ebony, stuJDfs dyed with purple and blue ; all that his house con- 
tained.3^ I carried away into Assyria the men and the women in 
vast numbers, oxen, sheep, and beasts of burthen. I distributed the 
inhabitants of Syria and of the sea-coast all in foreign countries. 
I built in Syria a fortress (or city) which I called Hisr-Esar- 
haddon ; and there I settled the men conquered by my bow in the 
mountains and near the sea of the rising sun *' (the Persian Gulf).** 
The last passage points to the continued resistance of Chaldasa and 
Susiana, where we find Esar-haddon engaged in a war (probably in 
his 6th year), which ended in the establishment of two princes 
favourable to Assyria over dififerent parts of Lower Babylonia. 

This campaign in the West seems the natural occasion for that 
chastisement of Manasseh and Judah, which furnishes another 
striking point of contact with the sacred history. Manasseh, haying 
succeeded his father at the age of twelve, three years after the great 
deliverance from Sennacherib (b.o. 697), had reigned seventeen years 
at the accession of Esar-haddon in B.c. 680. Besides adopting as 
his own the idolatries, cruelties, and vices of the reactionary party 
in Judah, which had gained strength during his minority, he seems 
to have rebelled against Assyria, very probably in reliance on 
Egypt. "Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains 
of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among 
the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to 

n The date of this record is fixrd by M. Oppert at b.c. 672-671. Tb« name of E«ar- 
haddon Ib also fuund in a mntilited inscription on one of the six stdtB, or tablets, of 
Assyrian kings which are scalplured in the living rock, beside the three of Kameaes II., 
near the mouth of the river Lycos (^yahr-d-Kelb) north of Beirut, on the Fhcenician 
coast of Syria, 'iliero are some important records of his titles on the slabs of his own 
palace at Nimrud, and of that which he bnilt for his son at Tarbiii (the mound of 
8heretf-Khan), N.N.W. of Kfunrsahad. 

^ Observe the correspondence of some of these materials with those ns^d by the 
Assyrian kings for their palaces, showhig whence, and how, they obtained tliem; esge- 
dally in Sargon's account of his palace. (See above, chap. xilV. ^ W^^ 

S3 But Interpreted by M. Oppert, here at befoie, the Caap\«xk^ee^ 


Babylon." ^ The apparent discrepancy of the officers of a king of 
Assyria carrying the captive king to Babylon is turned into a 
striking confirmation by the fact, not only that Esar-haddon was 
the one Assyrian king who reigned in person over both countries, but 
that he resided at Babylon as well as Nineveh. Bricks, stamped 
with his name, testify to his erection of a palace at Babylon. 

The restoration of Manasseh, when thoroughly humbled by his 
severe captivity ** to the position of a subject ally on the frontier of 
Egypt, seems a part of the same policy which led Esar-haddon to 
reinforce the population of Samaria from the conquered peoples chiefly 
of Chaldsea and Susjana. For the people of heathen origin, who 
opposed the restored Jews nearly a century and a half later, traced 
their settlement expressly to Esar-haddon ; ^ and among them are 
the Susanchitea and the Elamites, and other nations not included 
among the settlers at first placed there by Sargon.'''' The adoption 
by these people of the worship of Jehovah, in conjunction with that 
of the several gods of their own localities, is an interesting fact in 
the history of the Assyrian transplantations. 

§ 8. In the second campaign of Esar-haddon, which seems to 
have been in Armenia or Mt. Zagrus, we first meet with the name 
of a people famous in history. If the reading be correct, he 
received the submission of Tiuspa, the Cimmerian; and we are 
now very near the time at which Herodotus places the great Cim- 
merian invasion of Asia. Of his remaining campaigns, the most 
interesting are those against the Cilicians and their allies, the 
Tibareni; against the Edomites; and against certain Arab tribes, 
when he seems to have performed the hitherto unexampled feat 
of leading an army through a large portion of the great desert 
of Arabia. Like his predecessors, he had to engage in war with the 
Aramasan nomads on the Euphrates, and with the mountaineers of 
Armenia ; and his last recorded expedition reached a remote region 
of Media, perhaps Azerbijan. 

§ 9. It was towards the end of his reign that he resumed that 
great contest with the Ethiopian dynasty in Egypt, which Sargon 

M iGhron. zzzviii. 11. 

» When he was in affiictian: 2 Chron. lucxtiL 12. 13. Though these events are not 
mentioned In the annals of Esar-haddon, the name of Jianaueh (Jlinagi) occurs, as a tri- 
butary, in one of his inscriptions. Hesekiah had died b.c. 697. 

w Ezra iv. 2. ** The great and noble Asnapper" who is named in ver. 10, is supposed 
by some to be Esar-haddon himself; but it seems more probable that he was the Assyrian 
oflBoer who led the colony. 

s' Ezra, iv. 9. compared with 2 Kings zvii. 24. The former settlers were all from 
Upper Babylonia. Babylon alone is common to the two lists, and in the second the 
word ** Babylonians " may be generic. The absence of the other names in the first list 
tram the second suggests that the original colonies were reduced to insignificance by the 
hardships referred to in 2 Kings xvii. 25. In the second list, the Aphanitet are thought 
to be Persians, and the JrcAevitef from Ertxik. (OrchoS). 


had l)^;nn, and in which Sennacherib received his disastrous check. 
It now seems clear that Esar-haddon was the first Assyrian king 
who actoally invaded Egypt; and he was the first and last who 
bore the title, "King of the kings of i^ypt, and conqueror of 
Ethiopia.*' He adorned his palace with sphinxes and other Egyptian 
ornaments,^ and a bronze lion, dug up by the l\irks at NMi-Yunus 
(now in the Museum at Constantinople), bears the inscription, " The 
property of Esar-haddon, kin^ of hosts, king of Assyria, the spoil 
of Egypt and Ethiopia.** Though such titles occur several times in 
his inscriptions, his own annals only mention Egypt in one doubtful 
passage ; and all we know of his deeds there is ^m his son's acoount 
of the sequel of the war with Tirhakah and the Egyptian priooes.* 

§ 10. Of his great works as a builder Esar-haddon has left us 
descriptions so minute as to be only tantalising, f(»' the technical 
temis employed have as yet baffled the interpreters. He tells us 
that he reared three palaces and above thirty temples.^ Traces <^ 
the three palaces have been discovered, at Nineveh, Calah, and 
Babylon. Of the last, there only remain a few inscribed bricks to 
prove the name of its builder : the exploration of the first, in the 
mound of Nebbi^Yunus, is still hindered by local fanaticism. He 
describes it as a splendid edifice, erected on the site of a fonner 
palace of the Assyrian kings. He names 22 kings, chiefly of Syria, 
Phoenicia, and Cyprus, who furnished the materials. In this list 
we find the name of " Minasi (Manasseh), king of Judah." 

The palace at Calah, which occupied the S.W. corner of the great 
platform of Nimrud, was never finished ; and it is chiefly remarkable 
for the bas-reliefs removed from other edifices, mostly from the central 
and S Jl. palaces, and set up with their sculptures inwards against the 
wall of sun-dried bricks, and the back surfaces smoothed preparatory 
to being carved anew.^ Of such sculptures as had been completed, 
many were split to frs^ments or calcined to crumbling lime by a fiense 
conflagration that had destroyed the building. Among these were the 
sphinxes already mentioned. Besides these palaces, a far inferi(»>edi« 
fice was built at Nineveh for his eldest son ; its ruins are at Shererf- 
Khan, on the bank of the Tigris, where Sargtm had jHevioosly 
built a fort and a temple of Nergal. 

§ 1 1. The name of Esar-haddon's son and successor, Asshub- 
BANi-PAL {Asshur create a son), ocourring almost at the end of the 

s* Laysrd, * Nlnevdl and Us Remains,' vol. L p. 34S. 

a» See Chap. viL ^ 10. The matilated taiBciipiion on Ui aMa at Uie month of fhe 
Nakr-tl-Kdb (a cast of which is in the Briti&h Mnsenm) is said to record his victurj 
over TiHuikak (Tbrgn), ^'^ capture of Memphis, and otner conqoests in Africa. His 
conqnest of Egypt is iJso mentioned by Abydenns (ap. Gosebi. ' Cbroo.* para i. c iz.). 

4* According to M. Oppert; bat Sir H. Rawlinwn reads the passage ttiat "be repa&red 
10 of tlie strong-bolds of Assyria and Babyloma." 

41 Layard, * Nineveh and its Bemains.' voL L ppi S9i ftq^ 347-353; Rawlinaoa,' ¥V«^ 
Monarchies.' voL iL pp. 478^83L This proves that (jMnwticDM& «X\«uX« vA vt'*:'^^^! 
always) the slabs were carved after being fixed vo the Kil!ift. 


list of Assyrian kings, so irresistibly suggests that of Sardanapalus, 
that the mind pre-occupied with the legend of Ctesias is astounded 
when the monuments reveal one of the greatest conquerors and most 
magnificent monarchs of the whole series, and the only one who has 
left proofs of a systematic care for literature. His accession is fixed 
by the Canon to b.o. 667 ; but the darkness into which Assyrian 
history falls back towards the end of his reign makes its length 
uncertain. His annals only embrace the seven or eight years to 
B.0, 660.** His great contest with Tirhakah and Rotmen for the 
possession of Egypt — the most important results gained from the 
Assyrian records — has been related in the history of that country.** 

Amidst and after these wars, he conducted operations in Phoenicia 
and Gilicia; and he was the first Assyrian king who crossed the 
Taxirus into the interior of Asia Minor, and came in contact with 
the great Lydian monarchy. These are his own words, if rightly 
read :~ " Gryges, king of Lydia, a country on the sea-coast, a remote 
place, of which the kings my ancestors had never even heard the 
name, learned in a dream (?) the fame of my empire, and the same 
day sent officers to my presence to perform homage on his behalf.*' 
Gyges further sent to Asshur-bani-pal, at Nineveh, some Cimmerian 
chiefs, who had been taken alive in a battle ; and mention is also 
made of another Cimmerian chief, with whom the Assyrian himself 
came in contact.** 

§ 12. Like his predecessors, he made campaigns in Armenia and 
Media ; but the most interesting of his wars were those in Susiana 
and Babylonia, the incidents of which are depicted in the reliefs 
which he added to the palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh. The 
connection which Esar-haddon had established between Assyria 
and Babylon was dissolved, perhaps before his death, by that king's 
re-partition of Mesopotamia between his sons. Babylon fell to the 
lot of Saul-Mugina, the Saosdv^hinus of the Canon, and the Sam- 
mugheSf whom the compilers from Berosus have converted into a 
king of Assyria. The relations between Assyria, Babylon, and 
Susiana are obscure ; but instead of involving the reader in these 
difficulties, we notice the four years' war, in which Asshur-bani-pal 
conquered Susiana, chiefly to call attention to some of the scenes 
which every one can behold to this day on the walls of our Museum. 
On one slab we see the capture of a city at the confluence of two 
rivers ; probably Susa, which the annals record to have been taken, 
with the express mention of its position on the Hulai (Eulaeus).'** 

tf M. Oppert makes this the end of his reign, which &r Henry and Professor Hawlinson 
extend to b.g. 647. See below. $ 20. 

tf Chap. vii. $ 1, where the present state of this king's annals Is described. 

** It is important to observe the express statement of Herodotus, that the Assyrian 
empire reached as far west rr the Halys. ( Herod. L 95.) 

^ Cdwp, Dan. vlil 1. " I was at Shuthan, in the province of £2am, by the river of 


On another are vividly depicted scenes of horrible cruelty, the 
meaning of which is plainly stated in the annals : — *' Temin-Umman 
(the king of Susiana) was taken prisoner, decapitated, and his head 
exposed over one of the gates of Nineveh. A son of Temin-Umman 
was executed with his father : ^ and, whether in this or another 
case, the sculptures show one prisoner brought to execution with the 
head of another hung about his neck. ** Several grandees of Mero- 
dach-Baladau sufi'ered mutilation ; a Chald^ean prince and one of 
the chieftains of the Gambalu had their tongues torn out by the roots ; 
two of Temin-Umman's principal officers were chained and flayed : " 
— and there are both operations before our eyes, in the alabaster 
which has perpetuated them for twenty-five centuries. On other 
slabs we see the scourgers in attendance upon the king, carrying 
their whips in their girdles, and the executioner striking a bound 
prisoner with his fist before he puts him to death. Well might the 
prophet, probably at this very time, call Nineveh "the city of 
bloods." « 

§ 13. The like pictures of war, and of what his annals boast as 
justice, were rei)eated, side by side with an immense variety of 
liunting scenes, on the walls of another palace, which Asshur-bani-pal 
built at Koyunjik, within a few hundred yards of his grandfather's. 
The palace is remarkable for its peculiar ground-plan, in the form of 
a T, and for the beauty of its elaborate ornamentation. Both the 
battle and the hunting scenes excel all previous bas-reliefs in the 
variety, grace, and freedom of the figures; but in simple dignity 
they fall as far short of those of Asshur-nasir-pal as the spirit of 
the sport — in which the lions are let otU of cages — is below that 
monarch's famous lion-hunt. Among them is almost the only 
strictly domestic scene yet known in Assyrian art — and one only too 
significant — a banquet at which the king is reclining on his couch 
with the queen sitting at his feet.*' 

Never, in the whole history of Assyria, have we stronger evidence 
than under this king of that prosperity which the prophet describes 
in his celebrated parable : — 

*' The Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches, and 

with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature ; under 

his shadow dwelt all gr^at nations ; nor was any tree in 

the garden of God like unto him in his beauty." *® 

§ 14. If this Asshur-bani-pal furnished the Greeks with the 
name of Sardanapalus, we may now perhaps account for the two- 

*^ Kahcun ill. I. On this pnophet^ comp. chap. rlL $ 18. 

-•7 This splendid series of scalptores, obtained chiefly hj Mr. Hormnzd Raasain and 
h\ r. Lofloa from Koyumjik, may be seen (for the present, 1870) in the Uuement (!) 
of our Museum. 

^ £zeluel xxxi 3*8 : the whole of this very striking paauige shoald be resd baiEA, 


fold character of that king.^ As the last famotu king of Assyria, 
he may have been confounded, in Ctesias's legend of the fall of 
Nineveh, with a degenerate son or grandson, whose name was better 
known to other authors. But there are Greek writers who preserve 
a truer memory of a Sardanapalus, whom they distinguish from the 
other by the title of " the warlike Sardanapalus f^ but under whose 
name (as in the case of Sesostris) they include the achievements of 
different kings, as, for example, the building of Tarsus, which others 
assign to Sennacherib. Near that city was a lofty monument, which 
they called the tomb of Sardanapalus, crowned with a statue of the 
king, having on its base this inscription in Assyrian characters : — 
** Sardanapalus, son of Anacyndaraxes, built Tarsus and Anchialus 
in one day,** &c.*^ The monument was probably one of those stelce 
with an arched head, of the type which we have more than once 
mentioned ; and it may have represented either Sennacherib or his 

§ 15. Most cuneiform authorities agree that after the reign of 
Asshuri-bani-pal came that of his son, whose name is variously read 
AsshuT'emit-Uinf or Asshur-idililan, or Asshur-kinatili-kainf and 
who is identified with the Saracvs of Abydenus and Polyhistor, or 
with the Chinilachnus or Cinndadanus of Ptolemy's Canon, or 
with both,^^ The only native records of this king are a few in- 
scribed bricks, which identify him as the builder of the south-east 
palace ftt Nimrud, and a stela found there, with his effigy and a 
genealogical inscription.**' The palace, built upon the ruins of a 
former edifice,** bears striking witness to the decline and probably 
the sudden cessation of the monarchy, by its vastly inferior style, its 
small and misshapen chambers, its unfinished state, and its unsculp- 
tured walls.^ Decisive evidence is borne to the violent overthrow 

<* Hellanicas expressly mentioned " two kings called Sardanapalus," Fr. 158. 

^ Callistl^enes, in Suidas, «, v, XapSavdnoKo^. We have already seen that the identifi- 
cation formerly made of Asthur-nasir-^l with Sardanapalus I. (as Sir H. Rawlinson and 
Mr. Layard call him) rested on a wrong reading of the name, as Auhur-idcmni-pal. 

SI We do not think it necessary to add the somewhat trivial details, which have led to 
a discussion that may be seen fully in Professor Rawlinson's work (vol. ii. p. 500). He 
adduces the varied readings of the latter part of the inscription as a proof that it was not 
understood — which seems most probable. But M. Lenormant holds, on the contrary, 
that some of the learned Greeks had mastered the cuneiform writing, a feat which none 
of them had performed for the Egyptian hieroglyphics ; and of this he finds an indication 
even in their errors. For instance, in the name Anacyndaraxes he traces the royal title 
•*. Anaku-nadi^sarra-Asshur " — '* I am the august king of Assyria." Eusebius (C7t?w». 
ann. Ab. 1184) applies the words of the alleged inscription to the Sardanapalus of the 
Old Monarchy, who was overthrown by Arbaces and Belesys. Polyhistor and Abydenus 
(ap. Euseb. Chron. pars i. cc. v. ix.) say that Sennacherib defeated a Greek fleet off the 
coast of Cilicta, and built Tarsus after the model of Babylon, and set up his own monu- 
ment. There is very probably a confusion of names. *2 see below, ^ 19. 

u Thiti is in the British Museum. »« That of Ekar-baddon : see $ 10. 

» See Layard. • Nineveh and its Remains,' vol. ii. pp. 38, 39 ; • Nineveh and Babylon/ 
p. 655. The fkct that this latest known palace is at Caiah is instructive as to the ques- 


of the kingdom, and the utter destruction of its capital cities by 
the heaps of charcoal, and other signs of devouring fire, which are 
found in all the palaces, alike at Nimrud, Koyunjik^ and Khorsahad, 

§ 16. It is in vain to attempt to recover the true history of the 
fall of Nineveh by piecing together the few extant fragments of 
writers who lived long after the event. It is better simply to place 
their statements upon record, and await the light of further criticism 
and future discoveries. 

That the story of Ctesias, respecting the earlier overthrow of 
Nineveh by Arbaces and Belesys, may preserve some details of its 
final fall, is the more probable from the resemblance in oriental 
revolutions caused by the likeness of eastern states and wars : but 
still this is mere conjecture. Our really historical authorities are, 
on the one hand, the incidental notices by Herodotus, in his story of 
the Medes, evidently after Persian accounts ; and a few fragments, 
chiefly of Abydenus and Polyhistor, which derive their value from 
being founded on the high authority of Berosus." As is natural 
the latter class of writers lay the greater stress on the part taken by 
Babylon in the achievement, which Herodotus assigns wholly to the 

He recognises three distinct attacks of the Medes upon Assyria. 
First, Phra(»i^ having subjected the Persians, ''proceeded to sob- 
due Asia, nation after nation, till he marched against the Assyrians 
— those of the Assyrians, I mean, who held Nineveh, and formerly 
ruled over all [the rest] ; but then ihey stood alone, being deserted 
by their aUies ; but, in other respects, their internal condition was 
flourishing, Phraortes attacked them, but perished himself with 
the greater part of his army."** 

He then tells us how Cyaxares, the son of Phraortes, devoted bis 
efforts to organise the Median forces ; and, having mentioned (not 
necessarily in order of time) this king's contest with Lydia, and his 
conquest of all Asia beyond the River Halys, he goes on : — ** Now 
collecting all who were imder his rule, he marched against the citv 
of Ninus, both to avenge his father and wishing to take the city. 
And when, after defeating the Assyrians in a battle, he had 
formed the si^e of Ninus, there came upon him a great army of 

Uon about tbe AsryrUm oipitaL Bat itdoes not follow that GiUi was a part of the 
trae Nineveh. All the royal residenoes wonid peribh la a oooqaest of eztennJnatioD. 

M The passages are collected by Mfiller, ' Frag. Hist. Qnec' toI. iL p. 505. 

^ Easebins also, who mentions the destniction of Ninerdi In two passages of his 
' Chronicle^ (s. am. Ab. 1397 and 1408), ascribes it in both to Cytoutna the Mede, without 
mentJoning the Babylonians. Of the dates we have to speak presently. 

» Herod, i. 102. The position of Phraortes in Median history will be noticed in 
the proper place. Tlie Median chronology (as interpreted by Clinton and most anib* • 
rides) places this event in bjC 634. 

* Herod, i. 103L Withont entering here on the qncstloa, wbldi is sue of tb^^mN. 


Here he digresses to the Scythian invasion, and their domination 
over Asia for twenty-eight years, till Cyaxares drove them out, 
and the Medes recovered their former empire.®^ " And they took 
Ninus — but how they took it I will show in other books (or another 
history) — and made the Assyrians their subjects, except the part 
belonging to Babylon " (literally " the portion of Babylon ").*^ 

The last phrase is merely geographical; but, in another place, 
Herodotus refers to Babylon as not only in an independent, but even 
a hostile, attitude towards the victorious Medes. Speaking of Nito- 
cris, he says : — " Seeing the great and restless power of the Medes, 
who had taken both other cities, and among them also Ninus, she 
proceeded to guard against them as much as possible " by her works 
of defence at Babylon.** But we shall see that this really refers to 
a much later period; and Herodotus himself makes the king of 
Babylon an ally of Cyaxares in his Lydian War.*^ 

§ 17. That Babylon had a real and important share in the over- 
throw of Nineveh Beems established by the second set of authorities 
above mentioned. The locus dassicus on this subject is the passage 
quoted by Eusebius from Abydenus, who follows the ' Ghaldaean 
History * of Berosus. Having spoken of Sennacherib, Axerdis (Esar- 
haddon), and Sardanapalus (Asshur-bani-pa^, he proceeds : — " After 
him Saracus reigned over the Assyrians: and, having received 
tidings that a very grecU hand of barbarians had co-me up from the 
sea to attack him, he quickly sent the general Buscdossor (unques- 
tionably Nabopolassar, as in Syncellus) to Babylon. But he, plot- 
ting a rebellion, arranged the betrothal of Amuhia (called by others 
AroUis and AmyUis), a daughter of Asdahages (Astyages), the 
Mede, a prince (or the head) of the (royal) family, to Nabuchod- 
rossoTy his son. Thereupon, setting out forthwith, he hastens to 
attack Ninus, that is, the city of Ninive. When Saracus the 

chronological difficulties, whether the Lydian war preceded or followed the captare of 
Nineveh, it is enough to point out the incidental character of the allusion to the former. 
The words which (coming after this mention of the Lydian war) might seem to imply 
that Cyaxares led against Nineveh all the forces of the Median empire, after its ex- 
tension to the Halys, need not be so interpreted. They are simply, avKKi^an Si rovs 
i>ir' itavT<f apxpfUvovi iravra^. Still this phrase implies the acquisition of some consider- 
able dominion in Asia before the attack on Nineveh— of the dominion of which they were 
deprived by the Scythians, t^s apx^^ xareAv^o-av (chap. 104), and which they recovered 
when they got rid of the Scythians, and before the final attack on Nineveh (avevuKravro 
rqy ipj^v M^fioi, koX iwsKpdrwv twv irtp koX trp&rtpw, koL t^v NtKOv elAoi' (cliap. 106). 

«o Observe in passing, that ^the2S yean of Herodotus be correct» b.o. 634 — 28 years 
Bs B.G. 606. 

M Herod. L 106. The question has been long discussed whether the words iv 
eWpoio-i Aoyoto-i 6ii^M<rm, and again (more specifically) r&v iv rourt. 'Atravpiouri Xoyouri 
IJivyjiiiiv wotrioofnu (L 184), refer to a book of " Assyrian History " which he intended 
to write. The future seems to imply this ; and certainly none of his other eight books 
answer to the title. The passage adduced from Aristotle to prove the exi&tence of 
such a work is not decisive. 

e» Herod, i. 185 : comp. chap. zv. (18. ^ Herod, i. 74. 


king was informed of all this, he burnt bis royal palace at Eva- 
ritus.'*^ The last word is confessed by all the interpreters to be 
quite unintelligible in the Armenian text ; and the Greek of Syn- 
cellus gives " fearing whose [Nabopolassar's] attack, Saracus burnt 
himself with his palace; and Nabopolasarus, the father of Nabu- 
chodonosor, received the government of the Chaldseans and of 
Babylon." 6« 

§ 18. In some very important features these accounts agree with 
one another, and with the well-known character of the Assyrian 
empire. As we have seen before, there was no organised adminis- 
tration, held together by the central power. The cases in which 
conquered cities or countries were placed under Assyrian governors — 
or, in the language of the annals, ^" treated as Assyrians " — were 
exceptional. Generally they were left under their own kings, as 
vassals of Assyria ; and she only asked submission and tribute ; but 
she punished open rebellion with a ferocity which utterly alienated 
her subjects. 

While all were thus destitute of any bond of willing union, some 
of those nearest to the seat of government were animated with the 
spirit, and possessed the power, of perpetual resistance. Even at 
the rare times when the rival kingdom of Babylon was really sub- 
dued, the Chaldaeans and Elamites were ever ready to renew the 
contest in their mai'sbes. Almost every Ajssyrian king had to fight 
again and again with the Aramseans on tbe middle Euphrates, and 
with the mountaineers of Armenia and Zagrus. And, beyond the 
Utter range, the victories which are claimed over tbe Medes may 
often but attest the increasing pressure of the Aryan tribes that 
were gathering on this frontier of Assyria. 

A king who indulged in luxury, to the neglect of military expe- 
ditions, at once invited rebellion in the provinces and invasion on 
the frontiers ; and it was quite possible, as Herodotus puts it, that, 
at the very height of apparent prosperity, he might find himself 
standing alone, deserted by his allies, and left bare before his 
enemies. The crisis, which so soon followed the splendid reign of 
Asshur-bani-pal, appears to have been hastened by a fresh Aryan 
migration into Media; and their attack on the eastern frontier 
perhaps found Assyria weakened by the inroads of those very 
Scythians who interrupted the progress of the Medes. 

The renewed assault of the latter appears to have coincided with 

« Eoseb. 'CbroD. Ann/ pare I. c. Ix. (ed. Mai), but the better version is given by 
Aucher. There is the less difficulty about the substitution of Adyaga for Cyazaret^aa 
the former appears to have been a title of the Median Icings (see chap. xix. ^ 9). Ke- 
spectiDg the name of Busalossor for AcLbopdauar, see chap. xv. ^ 5. 

^ ' SyncelL' p. 210, b; but the passage is both confused and interpolated. He calls 
Astyages scUrap of Media, which seems borrowed from the Arbaces of Glesiaft. 


a new uprising of all the mingled races of Chaldaea and Susiana (for 
thus only can we understand ** the troops of barbarians who came 
up /rom the sea"). The treason, or patriotism,** of the officer sent 
to quell the Revolt in Babylonia has been often paralleled by the 
servants of a falling king;*' and the self-immolation of Saracns in 
the flames of his own palace — whether it be a fact or the adornment 
of a tale — has an exact precedent in the death of the Israelite king 
at Tirzah :-^" And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city 
was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and 
burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died." •* 

§ 19. But, after all, the real picture of the fall of Assyria (as of 
Babylon) and of the utter destruction of Nineveh, never to rise 
again, is dra\vn with the most literal truth, as well as poetic 
colouring, by the Jewish prophets, one of whom (Ezekiel) is, in 
fact, writing the history of Nineveh's fall as the type of Babylon's. 
The following passages are quoted only to attract attention to the 
whole prophecies of which they form a part. 

We have seen how Ezekiel's figure of the Assyrian as a cedar in 
I^banon was realised under Asshi^r'bani-pal ; but now " the multi- 
tude of waters that nourished him," that is, the subject nations, not 
only withdrew their tributary streams, but swelled up to help his 
destruction, as (in the phrase of Herodotus) he " stood alone " to 
undergo the sentence: "I have delivered him into the hand of 
the mighty one of the heathen ; in dealing he shall deal with him. 
.... And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, 
and have left him ; upon the moimtains and in all the valleys his 
branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of 
the land ; and all the people of the earth have gone down from his 
shadow and have left him." *• 

The prophetic warning, which Nahum gives to Nineveh from the 
fate inflicted by her own king on Thebes,'® contains a powerful 
description of the easy capture of the fortresses and the siege of the 
city itself: — "All thy strong holds shall be like fig-trees with the 
first ripe figs ? if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth 
of the eater, Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women : 
the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies : 
the fire shall devour thy bars. Draw thee waters for the siege, 
fortify thy strong holds : go into clay, and tread the mortar, make 
strong the brick-kiln. There shall the fire devour thee ; the sword 
shall cut thee off." '^ 

The utter and final nature of the destruction is pointed by 

•• See chap. xv. $ 2. 

^ It Is enough to mention the almost contemporary exampTe of Amasfs and Aprles 
(See chap. viii. $ 13). « 1 Kings xvi. 18. » Ezek. xxxi. 11, 12. 

^ Comp. chap. vll. $ 19. »i Nahujn Hi. 12-15. 


Zephaniah in words rendered doubly emphatic by the recent dis- 
coveries beneath the mounds among which nomad tribes have 
pitched their tents, and wild beasts and birds have had their haunts, 
for five-and-twenty centuries. ** He will stretch out his hand against 
the north, and destroy Assyria ; and will make Nineveh a desola- 
tion and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the 
midst of her, all the beasts of the nations : both the cormorant and 
the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it ; their voice shall 
sing in the windows ; desolation sliall be in the thresholds : for he 
shall unoover the cedar-work. This is the rejoicing city that dwelt 
carelessly^ that said in her heart, 1 amy and there is none beside me : 
how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in 1 
Every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand."^^ 

§ 20. The precise ej:och of the fall of Nineveh is still unsettled, 
and the question is complicated with another, concerning the date of 
the great battle between Cyaxares and the Lydians.''* Thus much 
is pretty well agreed, that the choice lies between B.C. 625 and B.C. 
606. The older writers give the latter date, which rests on a dis- 
tinct statement in the chronicle of Eusebius, and is supported by the 
high authority of Clinton.'* 

The English school of Assyriologers, represented by Sir Henry 
and Professor Bawlinson, adopt the date of B.C. 625, which is fixed 
by the Canon as that of Nabopolassar*a accession at Babylon, They 
regard his predecessor, ChinUadanus, whose accession is placed by 
the Canon in b,c, 647, as the last king of Assyria, the Assliur- 
emit-Uin of the monuments, and the Saracus of Berosus and his 
followers, but with the admission that Saracus may perhaps repre- 
sent a king who followed Asshur-emit-Uin, These views seem to 
rest too much on the dependence of Babylon upon Assyria up to the 
moment not only of Nabopolassai^s revolt, but of the actual capture 
of Nineveh, 

M. Oppert and the French school return to the date of b.c. 606, 
and make the accession of Nabopohssar at Babylon, and his league 
with the Medes, synchronise with that^rs^ attack of Cyaxares upon 
Nineveh which was interrupted by the Scythians. M. Oppert ends 
the reign of Asshur-bani-pal at the close of his annals in B.C. 660, and 
assigns the thirteen years to B.C. 647 to his brother Tiglath-pileser. 
Then comes Asshur-emit-Hin (Chiniladanus) down to the first attack 
by Cyaxares in B.C. 625. The remaining nineteen or twenty years, 
to the fall of Nineveh, in B.C. 606, are assigned to a king (the son 

" Zpphaniah IL 13-15. " See below, chap. xv. $ 7, and cbap. xxiif. ^ 14. 

7« ' Fast. Hellen.' vol. i. sub ann. His argumenta are open tu much discosaion. 
Ensebins gives two dates. 01. 40. 2 (b.c. 619-18), and 01. 43. 1 (bx;. (>0<t-7); tho tornnr 
seems to be for the flrst attack of Qyazares, the latter for the destruction of the city. 
Jerome's version brings each date one year lower ; so that the latter would come down 
to B.C. 606. 




or fouuger brother of bU prede<x8Bor), whose name is conjectured to 
. have beea either Eaar-haddon, or some such form, which would be 
represented bj the Greek Saracusf^'- Atshtir-akh — 3rd eluuent 
wontiDg), or one of those names beginning with -Asthur and endii^ 
with pal, which the Greeks made Sardanapaliu. It is to be ob- 
served, however, that the writers who give us the name of Saracut 
for the last king know no other Sardanapalus but him who answers 
to AtihuT-hani-pul, and whom they make the lather of Saracua.'" 

** It wlUbABteD th&t U. Oppenout«dDWnlbfllRyc>n,ufllgiicdI>7 Hemdotm to the 
8<7IUwi domlutlDn, to IH or It jttn. uxl (Dr tlili Uwrs K«ia to be •uma uitboiftr 
In Uw dilai glviui b; li^ixeblaa (hs bdIb '*}. M. Oppet Memi nlw («« to tbs otjac- 
tkm Df >JT»glTig tbft Aaj/rian nlgni too nach by tin Babylonian cfaroDolocy. ThH 

III CUuiUduu St Bjbfbm. Tbs C 

Hound held In Leuh (Koyunjik). 

Babil tlom ths Weal 



lire. Degtniction of nstlve rf eordi by 
R the JSra of Ifabanaitar, Bibylon 

or tbe Babjlonian Empire. Nebuchulnciiar Its one greet moniTch. lie all 
klnga. § 4. Tbr monarchy CMda:an. with it> capital »t Babylon, g S. 

DisUnction between tbe Assyrian and Babylonian Emplree. Nabopolasur 
mediatEB between Cyaiares and Alyattea. § 6. War witb Egypt. Tbe defeat 

rN bopolaeiw HlwktBbyl §7-4 ezak Bis name. 

H plu hi to 7 § 8 Be It r Phis Ulit J dab Cbronaloglal 

diffi 1 y bo t tb g f Ty Ft sapt t 1 uaal m. and Srat 

pt 1 d g D 1 RebeUl r J b kim Sec d capture of 

J 1 m § 9 Rebelli d d p t f J b hi Tbi d captan el 

1 par g J [UBB] m Viil f tb impe 1 1 hiu § 10 Zedekiab'g 
\ X w b Fb aoh H pbra d bein S g f J lem and retreat 
t Pb h F tb capt a d trn i f J Ml m K al capti'lly. , 

Edomiles, and all Syria. § 15. Iniaaion of Egypt — probably twice. Egypl 

Means (urnlsbed by bis ware for his great worki at Babylon. § 14, Prids 

Caiiaesof the immediate decline of the Empire, g IB. Evii^UiiaoD.icH. Hi* 
favour to Jeboiacbin. Put to death by a conspiracy. § 17. NERioLiea^u, 
the Bab-Mag, and bla khi LiBuaOMiiiicBaD. l^d of tbe dynasty of Nabo- 


polassar. § 18. Nabonadius. His works for the defence of Babylon. Nitocris. 
§ 19. Alliance with Crcesus. Defeat by Cyrus. Flight to Borsippa. § 20. 
Belshazzab in Babylon. Capture of the city. Surrender of Nabonadius. 

§ 1. DuBiNG the whole course of the Assyrian history, we have 
seen Babylon constantly appearing, nominally as a subject state, 
but frequently in successful revolt ; and sometimes recognized as a 
co-ordinate kingdom. Her subordination to Assyria has been un- 
questionably e^caggerated, especially by the Greek writers, who 
merged her whole history in that of the Assyrian empire. This 
mistake may have been owing chiefly to the deed which Berosus 
ascribes to Nabonaasar, who " collected and destroyed the acts of 
the king3 before him, in order that the series of the Chaldaean kings 
should begin from him."^ Before his time, therefore, we are de- 
pendent on Assyrian accounts for the history of Babylon ; with 
the exception of some fragmentary inscriptions, recording chiefly 
private transactions, in which the name of the reigning king is 
mentioned. Yet even the Assyrian accounts bear out the statement 
that "during the whole time of the Upper Dynasty in Assyria, 
Babylon was clearly the most powerful of all those kingdoms by 
which the Assyrian Empire was surrounded." ^ 

§ 2. From the Era of Nabonassar (Feb. 27, B.C. 747),' both the 
Canon of Ptolemy and the fragments of Berosus furnish a continuous 
list of kings, to the fall of Babylon in b,c. 538 ; but for two-thirds 
of this period we have little more than their mere names. For Euse- 
bius, who preserves a few details from Berosus, hurries carelessly 
over the whole time that precedes the accession of Nebuchadnezzar 
(B.C. 604), in order to reach the point at which Jewish history 
comes in contact with the Babylonian empire. We are again 
dependent, therefore, chiefly on Assyrian sources of information 
for the history of Babylon under the Lower Assyrian Empire ; 
when, if its conquest was more thoroughly effected than before, its 
fits of resistance are attested by the boasts made of the victories 
that overpowered them. The brief independence won by Nabo- 
nassar, and again by Merodach-Baladan, gave a foretaste of the empire 
secured by Nabopolassar. 

§ 3. The brief duration of that empire may account in part for 
its confusion with the Assyrian by the Greek writers, who had not 
our knowledge of its true importance. The greatness of Babylon 
took a powerful hold on their imagination, principally on account 
of its marvellous conquest by Cyrus ; for their whole interest in 
Oriental history centred in the growth of the Persian power : ^ 

1 Syncell. p. 207, B. 

2 BAwlinson» Appendix to Book I. of Herodotus, Essay VIII. 

3 See CSlinton. • F. H.' vol. iii. p. xvii. 

* This is the key-note of the history of Herodotus. 


and this greatness was that of the city which they regarded as the 
second capital of the Assyrian empire. But to us the magnificence 
of Babylon is eclipsed by th% important part assigned to the empire 
in the scheme of the providential government of the world; and 
especially to its one great monarch, the most complete type of an 
Oriental despot, who is himself controlled by a still higher 
power. Of the 88 years, which form the duration of the empire 
(b.c. 625-538), just half (43 years) are filled up by the reign of 
Nebuchadnezzar; and, with the exception of the fall of Babylon 
itself, the whole interest of the story centres in him. Of the six 
kings who form the Eighth {Chaldoean) Dynasty of Berosus, three 
(the third, fourth, and fifth) are of the slightest possible importance, 
their united reigns only just reaching six years ; and the first and 
last bear no comparison with Nebuchadnezzar. The chronology 
of the whole series is fixed, with almost absolute certainty, as 
follows : — 

Years. b.c. 

1. Nabopolassab 21 .... 625-604 


3. Evil-Merodach 

4. Nebiglissar . 

5. Laborosoarohod 

6. Nabonadiijs 

.. 43 
., 2 
.. 3-4 

(9 m.) 
.. 17 

Belshazzab, associated with his father towards the end of 
his reign. 


§ 4. These kings are not only called Chaldoeans by Berosus and 
several of the classical writers ; but in contemporary Jewish history 
and prophecy this epithet* is regularly applied to them, their 
kingdom, and their armies. Whatever its origin, it is now clearly 
no longer a mere geographical expression. There can be little doubt 
that these sovereigns belonged to the sacred caste ; • and, after all 
the discussions about their origin, the series of royal names obtained 
from the cuneiform inscriptions makes it probable that they repre- 
sented (whether in fact or by a genealogical fiction) the ancient native 
dynasties. In this respect, the revolution which overthrew the 
Assyrian monarchy, and gave Babylon the supremacy under Nabo- 
polassar, seems to have resembled that by which Ardshir long after- 
wards wrested the dominion of Persia from the Parthians, 

* That is, in the Hebrew fonn of Chaadim. 

* Among other indications, observe in the Book of Daniel the ascendancy of 
the Chaldeean caste at the court of Nebnchadnezzai. The sacred elements in 
their names are some sign of that sacerdotal character which we know to have 
belonged both to the Assyrian and Babylonian kings. WhateTer be the origin of 
the name, the idea that it now first arose, with the descent of a conquering race 
from the region of Zagrus, is quite exploded. The name of Kaldi has occurred 
long before this in the Assyrian annals for a people in Babylonia. 


While in this sense Chaldcean, and perhaps partly for that very 
reason, the monarchy was more strictly Babylonian than ever 
before. During the Assyrian supremacy, we have seen Babylonia 
divided among different princes ; and the centre of resistance, as 
was natural for strategic reasons, is generally in the lower country, 
or Chaldsea. Nabonassar was reigning at Babylon, apparently un- 
molested by Tiglath-pileser II., while the latter was conquering 
Ghaldaea; and the weight of the wars of Sargon, Sennacherib, and 
Asshur-bani-pal, fell upon the lower country. While the southern 
cities thus suffered — as is attested by the early date of the memorials 
found in their ruins — Babylon grew into importance as the seat of 
the Assyrian government, and the centre of the national worship. In 
the time of Sennacherib (or even earlier) Isaiah describes it as " the 
golden city," ** the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees* 
excellency.*'' Esar-haddon*s residence and building of a palace 
there mark its undisputed rank as the capital ; and such it remained 
under its new kings, 

§ 5. Nabopolassab^ (b.o. 625-604) first appears as an Assyrian 
officer," who was sent by the last king of Assyria to Babylon, as we 
have seen, against the insurrectionary bands of the Babylonians and 
Susianians. In choosing a Babylonian for this mission — as we may 
suppose Nabopolassar to have been, from his name, and still more 
from his being called a Ghaldaean — the king of Assyria would natu- 
rally seek to conciliate his southern subjects, and to use the local in- 
fluence of Nabopolassar. But, whether from ambition, or patriotism, 
or necessity, that influence was thrown into the opposite scale, and 
we have seen how Nabopolassar caused himself to be proclaimed 
king of Babylon, and joined with Cyaxares in overthrowing the 
Assyrian empire.* 

We must here guard against the mistake, that the new Babylonian 
kingdom succeeded to the empire of Assyria. After the fall of 
Nineveh, all that had been most properly Assyrian — the districts 
on the upper and middle Tigris — fell to the share of the Medos ; what 
.Babylon gained was the independence of her own country, enlarged 
by a union with Susiana, and the part of the Assyrian empire 
which lay along and to the west of the Euphrates. This division 
marks at once the new part she had to play in Western Asia. Sepa- 

7 Isaiah xiii. 19 ; xiv. 14. Of course some allowance must be made here for 
prophetic anticipation. 

8 Kabu-pal-wmrf i.e. NebOy proteot {thy or my) son. All our information about 
Nabopolassar is obtained from the fhigments of Berosus, Folyhistor, Abydenus, &o., 
chiefly through Eusebius and the other chronographers. Some of these writers 
abbreviate his name into Busaluaaor (more probably, Bapolussor) by the same 
process by which the modern Arabs convert NebueJiadnezzar into JBokht-i-nazar. 
His accession is flxed by the astronomical Canon to Jan. 27, b.c. 625, whatever 
may be the date of his alliance with the Medes. ' See chap. xiv. § 17. 


rated from the regions of Zagrus and Armenia, on whicli the Assyrians 
had only kept their hold by incessant wars, she was at liberty to 
seek expansion towards the west, where she would naturally be 
brought into conflict with Judsea and Egypt. But, for nearly the 
whole of his reign, Nabopolassar appears to have found occupation 
in organizing his new kingdom, and in aiding — probably under the 
terms of their treaty — his Median ally in his course of conquest in 
Asia Minor. While he was thus engaged and co-operating in the 
great war of Cyaxares against Alyattes, king of Lydia, he availed 
himself of the terror caused in both armies by an eclipse of the sun in 
the very crisis of a great battle, and negotiated the peace which fixed 
the boundary of the Median and Lydian empires at the river Halys.'^ 

§ 6. Just about this time, the politic old king Psammetichus was 
succeeded on the throne of Egypt by his enterprising son, Neco, who 
forced Nabopolassar to a defensive war upon the Euphrates. We 
have seen how Neco's first success was turned into disaster by the 
defeat which he suffered at Carchemish from Nebuchadnezzar, the 
son of Nabopolassar. This victory at once transferred to Babylon 
all the territory west of the Euphrates once belonging to Egypt, 
then to the kingdom of Israel, afterwards to Assyria, and lately 
reconquered by Neco, and gave her at one blow the empire of 
Western Asia. " And the king of Egypt came not again any more 
out of his land ; for the king of Babylon had taken from the river 
of Egypt, unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of 
Egypt" (B.C. 605)." 

Nebuchadnezzar had pursued the Egyptian to his own frontier, 
when news was brought to him of his father's death. Entrusting 
his army, and his booty, and his droves of captives, to chosen officers, 
to lead them home by the usual route, he sped across the desert 
with a small escort, to secure his rights. Arriving at Babylon, he 
quietly received the crown from the chief of the Chaldasan priests, 
who had kept it for him, and acted as regent in his absence.^* 

We learn, from the testimony of his son, that Nabopolassar com- 
menced those great works of fortification and engineering at Babylon, 

10 Herod, i. 74. Ck>mp. chap, xxiii. § 14. But if the fall of Ninexeh he 
placed in b.c. 606, this war would fall in the latter part of this reign. It is worthy 
of notice that Ahydenus mentions the accession of Nebuchadnezzar directly after 
the taking of Nineveh, which indeed the Book of Tohit (xiir. 15} ascribes to 
Nebuchadnezzar himself in conjunction with Assiterus (i.e. Cyaxares). If b.o. 
606 be the true date, Nebuchadnezzar, whom we find the next year commanding 
for his father on the Euphrates, may very well hare had a share in the campaign. 
Herodotus calls the king of Babylon Labynetus, a name quite unlike NabopO" 
lassary but afterwards applied to Nabomuliua, the last king of Babylon {Nabu- 
nahid=Labynet), M. Oppert supposes that Herodotus used this name for all 
the kings whose names began with Neboy yiz. Nebopolassary Nebuchadnezzar^ and 
NabonadittSf just as Sardanapaltu represents all the Assyrian names formed from 
A88hur-{ . . )'pal. The X may perhaps be an Ionic softening.. The same change 
seems to have taken place in the nan^e Lab(h-ro-9oarehod. 

" 2 Kings xxiv. 7 ; comp. c. viii. § 9. " Betowoa, Yx. \\. 


which Nebuchadnezzar completed, and which appear to have been 
strengthened when the last king of Babylon was expecting the 
attack of 07018.*^ * 

§ 7. Nebuchadnezzab, or Nebuchadrezzab, or Nabuchodo- 
NOSOR,^* came to the throne, according to Ptolemy^s Canon, on the 
2l8t of January, b,c. 604, and died about the beginning of B.C. 561 ; 
by far the longest reign of any in the whole series of Assyrian and 
Babylonian kings. Of his position in the annals of the Babylonian 
empire, it has been truly said that " its military glory is due chiefly 
to him ; while the constructive energy, which constitutes its especial 
characteristic, belongs to it still more markedly through his character 
and genius. It is scarcely too much to say that, but for Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the Babylonians would- have had no place in history." ^ 

If He left annals like those of the great Assyrian kings, they have 
perished in the utter destruction of Babylon ; but, for the true lessons 
of his history, their place is more than supplied by the sacred 
writings. No long and boastful details of countries overrun and 
subjected to tribute, of cities stormed and razed, and prisoners and 
spoil carried away to Babylon, would have had half the value of the 
brief record of the part he played as the instrument of Providence in 
the captivity of the Jews, or of the dramatic pictures in the Book 
of Daniel of his humiliation before the God of the conquered 
people; while all the poetry to which history has given birth, 
whether of the tragic muse or the patriotic song, is surpassed by 
the sublime prophecies of the fate reserved for proud Babylon and 
her mighty king.*' 

§ 8. We have seen how Nebuchadnezzar, just before his accession 

18 See Xotei and Illustrations (A). Herodotus (i. 185) ascribes these works to 
ITitocris, whom he clearly regards as a gtteen regnant, and whom he makes the 
mother of " Labynetus " (i.e. Ifabonadius) the last king of Babylon (i. 188). She 
executed them, he tells us, through fear of an attack from the Medes, ** who had 
taken a large number of cities, and among them Nineveh ; " but the attack appre- 
hended is plainly that of Cyrus, which he proceeds to relate as taking place under 
Labynetus. There seems, therefore, no sufficient ground for the view of those 
writers who make Nitocris the wife of Nabopolassar. See Lenormant, *Histoire 
Ancienne,' vol. ii. pp. 7-9. 

*^ Of the Greek forms (in which the penult is short), — Na/SovxoSovoo-cap 
(LXX.), Na/3ovxa8oi^oropo« (Beros.), NojSo«coA.d<ropo? (Ptol. Can.), Na/3o«co6p6(ropo« 
(Strab.), and Na^ovKoSp6(ropo« (Abyd. and Megasth.) — the last comes nearest to tlie 
true name, Nahu-kudurri-uzur^ which M. Oppert explains " iVeJo, protect my rmee 
(or, the youth) " but Sir Henry Rawlinson, ** Neho is the protector of landmarkt** 
(the middle element, A^M^ur, being of doubtful meaning). Hence, of the Hebrew 
forms, the exceptional one with the r [Nehuehadretzar), which is used by Jere- 
ipiah and Ezekiel, is clearly preferable to the usual form in Kings, Chronicles, 
and Daniel; but the latter is too fixed in our usage to be changed. Perhaps the 
difference may be accounted for by a Semitic reading of the middle element, the 
Kudur being Samitic, as in Chedorlaomer, &c. The Persian cuneiform inscrip- 
tions have Nabukudrachara (Bab. Inscr.), 

" Rawlinson, * five Monarchies,' vol. iii. p. 489. 

10 Benldes the notices of Scripture, our chief sources for the whole history of 
Dabylon are the f^ragments already mentioned as preserved by the chronographers. 


to the throae, created the em|Hre of Babykxi &t ooe stroke by the 
victory of Carchanisk. Bat within the regkn west of the Eophrsites, 
formerly ruled by Assyria, there lemaiDed two powers, almost con- 
temptible in magnitade, bat yet mighty — the one in its ocHnmerdal 
wealth and colonial empire, the other in its exdosive spirit of 
religions patriotism. 

Tybb, now at the height of her prosperity, drew the rest of Phoe- 
nicia into resistance; and Jxtdma, which religioos declension and 
political weakness had left as helpless between Babylon and E^ypt 
as a ship on which two fields of ice are closing, assumed that courage 
of despair which was wont to be most tenacious when her religion 
was at its lowest ebb. Unfortunately, the campaign of Nebuchad- 
nezzar against Tyre is involved in so much obscurity, that the 
question is still disputed whether it was simultaneous with or 
whether it suooeuled the Jewish wars. 

When Nebuchadnezzar pursued Pharaoh Neoo from the Euphrates' 
to the border of Egypt, Jehoiakim, who had recently been placed by 
Neco on the Jewish throne, ventured to withstand the conqueror. 
Jerusalem was taken after a brief siege ; and, among the spoil and 
captives left by Nebuchadnezzar to be brought after him to Babylon, 
were some of the vessels of the temple, and certain chosen youtiis of 
the royal and princely families, including Daniel and his three 
companions. Jehoiakim himself, though destined at first to share 
their captivity, was however restored to his throne." 

He had now to make his choice between the loyal acceptance of 
his position as a vassal, or reliance on the aid of Egypt. In spite 
of the lesson of Carchemish, and the essentially anti-Egyptian 
principles of the Hebrew monarchy, which were earnestly enforced 
by Jeremiah, Jehoiakim chose the latter policy, to which the 
princes of Judah always inclined." After being " the servant of 
Nebuchadnezzar for three years, he turned and rebelled against 
him,"" in the seventh year of his reign (b.c. 602). His reliance on 
Egypt, which Josephus expressly assigns as a motive,** is implied in 
what seems to be the statement that he was disappointed of such 

" 2 Kings xxiT. 1 ; 2 Chron. xxxtL 6, 7 ; Dan. i. 1, 2. The last passage 
places Nebuchadnezzar's advance against Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim 
(B.C. 605) ; and one of the most important synchronisms of this period is that of 
the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar with the 4th of Jehoiakim (Jerem. xxi. 1). The 
apparent discrepancy is in truth a confirmation, as the capture of Jerusalem was 
before his accession; and the date is confirmed by comparing Dan. i. 5 with ii. 1. 
Of course, there is no difficulty in his being styled Inng, Some writers (apparently 
on no other ground than the title) assert that he was associated by his father in 
the throne about b.c. 607. But thlB seems improbable from his haste to go home 
and secure the crown. 

i> For a fuller account of the state of parties at Jerusalem, and especially of the 
testimony borne by Jeremiah, and his persecution by the king and princes of 
Judah, see the * Student's Old Testament History,' chap. xxv. § 9. 

" 2 Kings xxiv. 1. " » « Ant.' x. 6, $ 2. 


which Nebuchadnezzar completed, and which appear to have been 
strengthened when the last king of Babylon was expecting the 
attack of Cyrus.*^ * 

§ 7. Nebuchadnezzab, or Nebuchadrezzar, or Nabuchodo- 
NOsoR,** came to the throne, according to Ptolemy^s Canon, on the 
2l8t of January, b,c. 604, and died about the beginning of B.C. 561 ; 
by far the longest reign of any in the whole series of Assyrian and 
Babylonian kings. Of his position in the annals of the Babylonian 
empire, it has been truly said that " its military glory is due chiefly 
to him ; while the constructive energy, which constitutes its especial 
characteristic, belongs to it still more markedly through his character 
and genius. It is scarcely too much to say that, but for Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the Babylonians would have had no place in history." " 

If Me left annals like those of the great Assyrian kings, they have 
perished in the utter destruction of Babylon ; but, for the true lessons 
of his history, their place is more than supplied by the sacred 
writings. No long and boastful details of countries overrun and 
subjected to tribute, of cities stormed and razed, and prisoners and 
spoil carried away to Babylon, would have had half the value of the 
brief record of the part he played as the instrument of Providence in 
the captivity of the Jews, or of the dramatic pictures in the Book 
of Daniel of his humiliation before the God of the conquered 
people; while all the poetry to which history has given birth, 
whether of the tragic muse or the patriotic song, is surpassed by 
the sublime prophecies of the fate reserved for proud Babylon and 
her mighty king." 

§ 8. We have seen how Nebuchadnezzar, just before his accession 

13 See Notei and lUostrations (A). Herodotus (i. 185) ascribes these works to 
mtocris, whom he clearly regards as a queen regnant^ and whom he makes the 
mother of " Labynetus " (i.e. Ndbonadius) the last king of Babylon (i. 188). She 
executed them, he tells us, through fear of an attack from the Medes, " who had 
taken a large number of cities, and among them Nineveh ; " but the attack appre- 
hended is plainly that of Cyrus, which he proceeds to relate as taking place under 
Labynetus. There seems, therefore, no sufficient ground for the view of those 
writers who make Nitocris the wife of Nabopolassar. See Lenormant, * Histoire 
Ancienne,* vol. ii. pp. 7-9. 

^* Of the Greek forms (in which the penult is short), — Na/3owxo5oM5<rcop 
(LXX.), Na^ouxo^ovooropo? (Beros.), NojSoKoA.d<ropo? (Ptol. Can.), NafioKoSpdaropo^ 
(Strab.), and Na^ovKo5p6<rop<K (Abyd. and Megasth.) — the last comes nearest to tlie 
true name, NabU'kttdurri-uzur, which M. Oppert explains " Nebo, protect my rmee 
(or, the youth) " but Sir Henry Rawlinson, ** Ifebo is the protector of landmarks " 
(the middle element, kttdur, being of doubtful meaning). Hence, of the Hebrew 
forms, the exceptional one with the r {Nebuchadrezzar), which is used by Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel, is clearly preferable to the usual form in Kings, Chronicles, 
and Daniel; but the latter is too fixed in our usage to be changed. Perhaps the 
difference may be accounted for by a Semitic reading of the middle element, the 
Kudur being Hamitic, as in Chedorlaomer, &c. The Persian cuneiform inscrip- 
tions have Nabukudrachara (Bab. Inscr.), 

1* Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. iii. p. 489. 

10 Benldes the notices of Scripture, our chief sources for the whole history of 
Babjrlon are tike ihigments already mentioned as preserved by the chronographers. 


to the throne, created the empire of Babylon at one stroke by the 
victory of Carchemish. But within the region west of the Euphrates, 
formerly ruled by Assyria, there remained two powers, almost con- 
temptible in magnitude, but yet mighty — the one in its commercial 
wealth and colonial empire, the other in its exclusive spirit of 
religions patriotism. 

Tybb, now at the height of her prosperity, drew the rest of Phoe- 
nicia into resistance; and Jitd^a, which religious declension and 
political weakness had left as helpless between Babylon and Egypt 
as a ship on which two fields of ice are closing, assumed that courage 
of despair which was wont to be most tenacious when her religion 
was at its lowest ebb. Unfortunately, the campaign of Nebuchad- 
nezzar against Tyre is involved in so much obscurity, that the 
question is still disputed whether it was simultaneous with or 
whether it succeeded the Jewish wars. 

When Nebuchadnezzar pursued Pharaoh Neoo from the Euphrates* 
to the border of Egypt, Jehoiakim, who had recently been placed by* 
Neco on the Jewish throne, ventured to withstand the conqueror.' 
Jerusalem was taken after a brief siege ; and, among the spoil and 
captives left by Nebuchadnezzar to be brought after him to Babylon, 
were some of the vessels of the temple, and certain chosen youths of 
the royal and princely families, including Daniel and his three 
companions. Jehoiakim himself, though destined at first to share 
their captivity, was however restored to his throne." 

He had now to make his choice between the loyal acceptance of 
his position as a vassal, or reliance on the aid of Egypt. In spite 
of the lesson of Carchemish, and the essentially anti-Egyptian 
principles of the Hebrew monarchy, which were earnestly enforced 
by Jeremiah, Jehoiakim chose the latter policy, to which the 
princes of Judah always inclined." After being "the servant of 
Nebuchadnezzar for three years, he turned and rebelled against 
him,"" in the seventh year of his reign (b.c. 602). His reliance on 
Egypt, which Josephus expressly assigns as a motive,** is implied in 
what seems to be the statement that he was disappointed of such 

" 2 Kings xxir. 1 ; 2 Chron. zxxtL 6, 7 ; Dan. i. 1, 2. The last passage 
places Nebuchadnezzar's advance against Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim 
(B.C. 605) ; and one of the most important synchronisms of this period is that of 
the 1st year of Nebuchadnezzar with the 4th of Jehoiakim (Jerem. xxi. 1). The 
apparent discrepancy is in truth a confirmation, as the capture of Jerusalem was 
before his accession; and the date is confirmed by comparing Dan. i. 5 with ii. 1. 
Of course, there is no difficulty in his being styled kinff. Some writers (apparently 
on no other ground than the title) assert that he was associated by his fother in 
the throne about b.c. 607. But thift seems improbable from his haste to go home 
and secure the crown. 

>^ For a fuUer account of the state of parties at Jerusalem, and especially of the 
testimony borne by Jeremiah, and his persecution by the king and princes of 
Judah, see the * Student's Old Testament History,' ehap. xxr. § 9. 

" 2 Sings xxir. 1. ' » « Ant.' x. ^, ^1. 


his mother, his wiyes, his officers, and all the princes, to the nnmber 
of 2000; "all the mighty men of valour," "all that were strong 
and apt for war," reduced as they were to 7000 by previous cap- 
tivities and losses ; with all the craftsmen and smiths, to the 
number of 1000, that those left behind might be helpless. The 
captives amounted in all to 10,000, and " none remained, save the 
poorest sort of the people of the land."^ Over this miserable 
remnant, Mattaniah, the youngest son of Josiah, and the uncle of 
the late king, was set up to reign under the new name of Zedekiah^ 
and bound to fidelity by a solemn oath.*^ To this oath, and the 
whole policy now pursued by Nebuchadnezzar towards Judah, 
Ezekiel alludes in a very striking passage :-^" The king of Babylon 
hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and 
hath taken an oath of him : be hath also taken the mighty of the 
land : that the kingdom might be base, and might not lift itsel 
up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.""* 

The surprising part of this transaction is that, after the provocar 
tion he had received now for the third time, Nebuchadnezzar did 
not utterly destroy the rebellious city. Such a wretched phantom 
of a kingdom, deprived of every man fit for war and even of the 
craftsmen to forge ^eir weapons, could be of no use as a frontier 
garrison against Egypt. Some higher motive to forbearance seems 
to be implied in the passage quoted from Ezekiel; and such a 
motive may be found in those wonderful revelations, recorded in 
the Book of Daniel, which surround the great figure of Nebuchad- 
nezzar with a light reflected from a source above all earthly splendour. 
For it was as early as the second year of his reign^ (b.c. 603) 
that the young king, lately returned from his conquests beyond the 
Euphrates, his mind filled with the great prospect before him, and 
prepared by his initiation into the mysteries of the Ghaldseans to . 
believe in prophetic visions — " dreamed dreams wherewith his spirit 
was troubled, and his sleep brake from him." We need not give 
the details of that most fascinating chapter, which tells how a 
captive Hebrew youth, who had just completed the training that 
fitted him to stand before the king,*'^ revealed the mystery of that 
colossal image of the empires of the world, with the king himself for 
its golden head, which he saw dashed to pieces by a heavenly power : 
our present concern is with the king's confession of the supreme deity 

*> 2 Kings xxiv. 13-16 ; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 10. Among the captives were the 
prophet Ezekiel and the grandfather of Mordecai. Jeremiah remained at Jeru- 
salem. '^ 2 Chron. xxxvi. 18. 

*> Ezek. xvii. 18, 14. See the repeated allusions to the oath in this chapter. 

w Dan. ii. 1. 

*' An incidental confirmation of the date, Comp. Dan. i. 5 and 18 : the '* three 
years " would, hy Hebrew reckoning, extend fh>m any part of b.c. 605 to any 
part ofB,c, 60Z, 


and royalty of Daniel's God. It is not strange that the monarch 
should spare the sacred city of the God whose power he thus con- 
iiessed. A similar feeling ui^ed Titus to untiring efforts to save the 
temple : and, in hoth cases, it was the obstinacy of the Jews that 
frustrated the forbearance of their heathen conquerors. 

§ 10. Such was now the course of the infatuated Zedekiah. For 
eight or nine years he remained in helpless submission. Of the 
occupations of Nebuchadnezzar during that interval we are not 
informed. According to Josephus the thirteen years' siege of Tyre 
was still in progress ; but this would not prevent his residence at 
Babylon during at least parts of every year ; »and he was probably 
proceeding with his great works at that capital.^ His watchfulness 
over the condition of Jerusalem (and the need for it) is proved by 
the example he made of two of the false prophets, men of profligate 
lives, who kept promising a speedy return from the captivity, and 
" whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire :"^ an example to 
which the escape of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, gave peculiar 
emphasis. We find Zedekiah himself going to Babylon, in the 
fourth year of his reign (b.c. 594-3).*^ 

If he was summoned thither to clear himself from doubts cast on 
his loyalty, he soon justified the suspicion. Neco, king of Egypt, 
had received too severe a lesson to " venture any more out of his 
land," where we have seen him engaged in far more useful enters 
prises.^^ But the accession of the rash and arrogant Pharaoh- 
Hophra (to call him by his Scripture name) roused Zedekiah to the 
courage of despair. The intrigues, which the prophecies of Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel^ prove to have gone on during the whole reign of 
Zedekiah, now ripened into a conspiracy for the aid of Egypt and into 
open rebellion. The Hebrew annalist distinctly marks that it was 
from no spirit of patriotism, but in proud resistance to ** Jeremiah, 
the prophet, speaking from the mouth of the Lord," that " he 
rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by 
Ood;" and Ezekiel names the very terms of the treaty; — "He 

^ The way in which his standard inscription speaks of these works as heg^on 
by his father and continued by himself, and of the pressing necessity for gr^arding 
the city against inundation, would be sufficient to show that they went on from 
the beg^ning of his reign. (See Notes and Illustrations — A.) 

^ Jerem. xxix. 22, 23. Concerning the opposition of these false prophets to 
Jeremiah ; his exhortations to the Jews at home and at Babylon ; and the 
general state of parties at Jerusalem ; see the * Student's O. T. History/ chap. xxt. 

§ 11- 

*^ Jer. 1. 51. It was on this occasion that Jeremiah sent to the captive Jews, 
by the hand of Seraiah, that wonderful prophecy of the fall of Babylon in which the 
sublime poetry is not more striking than the dramatic details of the capture of the 
city, and the exact description of its desolation to the present day. Jerem. 1., li. 

*^ Chap. Tiii. § 12 : for the character of Apries, or Pharaoh-Hophra, see «ft. § 14. 

*^ For the details see the * 8tadent*8 O. T. History,' i. c. 


lebelled against him, in sending his amhassadois into IStgypt, that 
they might give him horses and much people : "*— cavalry and 
infantry. His treachery was punished just as the prophet goes on 
to foretel, and as the annalist relates: — '^It came to pass, in the 
ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of 
the month, that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came, he and all 
his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it ; and they built 
forts against it round about ; "** and on the very same day Ezekiel " 
uttered to the exiles at Babylon a prophecy of its destruction. The 
army of Nebuchadnezzar, comprising ** all the kingdoms of the 
earth of his dominion,"^ had first overrun the whole country ,*• and 
taken all the fortified cities, except Lachish and Azekah, which 
were still invested.^ Zedekiah, while reinforcing his weak garrison 
by manumitting all Hebrew slaves, imprisoned the prophet whom 
he could not silence ; and Jeremiah, in denouncing the failure of 
the defence, even from his prison, gave a pledge of the future restora- 
tion which he now prophesied, by an act which was repeated nearly 
four centuries later by the Roman who bought for its full value tl^ 
field on which Hannibal had pitched his camp before Rome. It is 
full time that the patriotism of God's people should be placed as 
high as that of heathens in the page of history .^^ 

The siege of Jerusalem continued for two years and a half, to the 
eleventh year of Zedekiah :** — but not without interruption. Fha- 
raoh-Hophra marched to its relief with a great army, and took 
Gaza.^ Jeremiah's prophecy, that the Egyptian himself was 
doomed to perish, was regarded as treason amidst the joy which 
filled the city, " when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up 
from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army."^* Josephus says that 
the Egyptians were defeated in a battle; but the prophet seems 
rather to imply that they retreated before the overwhelming forces 
of Nebuchadnezzar : — " Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come 
forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land."^ At 

« Ezek. xvii. 15. 

** 2 Kings xxT. I ; Jerem. xxxix. 1 ; lii. I. The date of the investment -was 
the 10th of Thebet, about Dec. 20, b.c. 589, an anniversary still kept as a fast by 
the Jews. When dates are given to the dayj it must be remembered that their 
conversion into days of our calendar is only approximate. The Jewish calendar 
was (and is) strictly lunar ; and the year began with a new moon : the sacred 
year (that now in question) with the new moon nearest the vernal equinox ; the 
civil year with the new moon nearest the autumnal equinox. Instead of attempt- 
ing (except where great exactness is required) to compute astronomically the 
precise correspondence of the calendars for each particular year, it is convenient 
to give it as for a normal year, viz. one in which the new moon of the first month 
fialls precisely at the vernal equinox. <* Jerem. xxxiv. 1, 

*« Joseph. * Ant.' x. 7, § 3. *• Jerem. xxxiv. 7. 

<« Jerem.xxxii. xxxiii. xxxiv. ; Liv, xxxvi. 11. 

*« 2 Kings XXV. 2 ; Jerem. lii. 5. «« Jerem. xxxvii. 5 ; xlvii. 5. 

" Jerem, xxxvii. « jerem. xxxvii. 7. 


all events the Chaldaeans retumeci, as the prophet had foretold ; and 
Jerusalem was again invested (according to Josephus for 18 months)" 
and reduced to the last extremity of famine." 

On the 9th day of the 4th month, in the 11th year of Zedekiah 
and the 19th of Nebuchadnezzar (b.c. £86)," a breach was made in 
the wall ; and the great officers of Nebuchadnezzar entered the city, 
while Zedekiah and his men of war fled by the garden gate of the 
palace.** They were pursued to the plain of Jericho, where the 
little army was dispersed, and the king was taken and brought to 
Nebuchadnezzar, who had retired to Riblah in Hamath (according to 
Josephus, to watch the progress of the siege of Tyre). There " they 
gave judgment upon Zedekiah." His eyes were put out after he had 
seen his sons slain before his face ; and he was carried in fetters of 
brass to Babylon, where he died;*^ exactly as the prophet had 
foretold : — " yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there." ^ 

The systematic destruction of Jerusalem was begun by Nebuzar- 
adan, the captain of the guard, on the 7th day of the 5th month ( Ab = 
July-August).^ The Temple was given to the flames, with all the 
palaces and private houses ; its brass- work having been broken up, and 
carried away with the sacred vessels. The scanty gleanings of its 
population, with those who had deserted to the Chaldaeans during the 
siege, were carried into captivity ; only the poorest being left to till 
the ground and dress the vines, with a few men of consideration, 
who, like Jeremiah, were held to deserve special favour. On the 
other hand, the high-priest, the second priest, and several other 
officers, with sixty of the citizens, were chosen for examples of the 
conqueror's vengeance, and put to death at Riblah. The small 
number of these victims and the sparing of Zedekiah's life, after so 
many rebellions and such signal trtacheyy, not only seems mercy 

^ Joseph. * Ant.* x. 7, § 4. This would place the retreat of Pharaoh at the end 
of B.C. 588. 

^ 2 Kings XXV. 3 ; Jerem. xxxvii. 21 ; xxxviii. 9. Bespecting the state of 
things in the city, and especially the dealings of the king and princes with 
Jeremiah, see the * Student's O. T. History,' chap. xxv. § 12. 

^ The 9th of Thammuz, about 26th Jnne. 

^ 2 Kings xxv. 4 ; Jerem. xxxix. 3, 13. 

»7 2 Kings xxv. 4-7. " Ezek. xu. 13. 

^ 2 Kings xxiv. 8 : where the 19/A year of Nebuchadnezzar is expressly named, 
the previous dates having been given by the years of Zedekiah« In comparing 
them, it should be remembered that the years of Nebuchadnezzar date from 
January^ B.C. 604 ; those of Zedekiah from Midwmmery B.C. 597 ; and that the 
months are not those of the years of either king, but of the Jewish sacred year. 
The epoch of the destruction of Jerusalcmj on which the whole system of sacred 
and (to a great extent) of Oriental chronidogy may be said to hang is now fixed 
with certainty to b.c. 586, if the date of the Canon for Nebncbadnezzar's accession 
is right. (The received chronology of Archbp. Ussher gives b.c. 588 ; Clinton 
B.C. 587.) The great Fast of the Jews for the twofold Destruction of the Temple 
(for that by Titos is fixed by them to the same day) is held on the 10th of Ab 
(about 26th of July in a normal jtur). 


itself compared with the massacres recorded of the Assyrian kings, 
but places the Babylonian despot in favourable contrast with Titus, 
that strange " delicias humani generis." We cannot but trace the 
motive already referred to, in this conduct^ in the respectful treatment 
of Jeremiah, and more especially in the singular exemption of Judasa 
from the usual system of colonization, which had been carried out in 
northern Israel ; leaving the land ready for the promised return of 
its chastened people, after it had rested for the sabbatic years 
of which their avarice had deprived iU^ The remnant left behind 
were committed to the care of a Jewish governor, Gedaliah, who was 
soon after murdered by Ishmael, a prince of the royal blood ; and 
the remnant of the people were led or forced into Egypt.*^ 

§ 11. The residence of Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, in Coele-Syria 
(probably a fortress which had succeeded to the rank of Hamath), 
points clearly to operations in that quarter; and, if the dates of 
Josephus are right,*' the thirteen years* siege of Tyre ended the 
year after the fall of Jerusalem, namely, in b.o. 585. Those who 
malke the wars consecutive place the fall of Tyre in B.C. 574. 
There are passages of the Hebrew prophets which would go far to 
settle the question, if we could be sure whether they refer to a si^e 
actually in progress or only to an imminent attack. At all events, 
they furnish a most striking picture of the wealth and power of 
Tyre, as the commercial capital of the world, with all its nations 
enumerated as pouring their riches into her lap, and their astonish- 
ment and desolation at her fall.^ In their fullest sense, these 
prophecies seem to look forward to the later destruction of Tyre by 
Alexander; and it has even been questioned — from a passage in 
which Ezekiel intimates that Nebuchadnezzar and his army lost 
the fruit of their labour *^ — whether he really took the island dtyy 
or only " Old Tyre " on the mainland. 

At all events, he became master of all Phoenicia and Syria,*' and 
followed up their conquest by* that of the Ammonites, Moabites, 
and Edomites, whose hatred had led them to serve willingly in the 
war against the Jews, and who now felt the cruelties over which 

•• 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. 

*^ For a fuller account of this remnant, who formed an important colony in 
Egrypt, see the * Student's O. T. History,' chap. xxv. § 13. ^ See above, § 8. 

^ See Isaiah xxiii. ; Jerem. xxv., xxvii., xlvii., and especially the great pro- 
phecies of Ezekiel (xxvi., xxvii., xxviii.), which, in their turn, furnish the type 
of the apocalyptic prophecy of the fall of the mystic Babylon (Rev. xviii.). We 
have to recur to the subject under the history of Phoenicia. 

M Ezek. xxix. 18. This prophecy is dated on the first' day of the 27th year of 
the great captivity, that is, b.c. 571 (the epoch being b.c. 597), the very year of 
the end of the Tyrian war, according to the later date. But this is not quite 
decisive ; for the reference to Tyre is only introductory to the mention of the 
reward which the king was to have in ^TP^ ^^^ it is an argument for the 
later date. *' Berosus, op. Joseph. * o. Ap.' i. 20. 


they then exulted.^' The fabulous accounts, which make Nebuchad- 
nezzar advance to the Pillars of Hercules, and conquer the Iberians 
of Spain, settling his captives on the shores of Colchis,^^ are per- 
haps founded on a claim to sovereignty over the Tyrian colonies^' 
as involved in the conquest of the mother city. There is not the 
least reason to suppose that such a claim was acknowledged by 
tribute or in any other way. The result of these campaigns was 
the submission of all the countries of Western Asia, from the 
Euphrates to the frontier of Egypt, to the Babylonian yoke, with a 
completeness of conquest never attained by Assyria. 

§ 12. Next came the turn of Egypt, with which the Babylonian 
had a long account to settle. Joseph us ^ says that, within four 
years of the fall of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar led an army into Egypt 
to punish Vaphres (Pharaoh-Hophra) for the aid he had given to 
Zedekiah ; but (according to his own date, B.C. 581) he is clearly 
wrong in adding that (on this occasion at least) Vaphres was put to 
death, and a vassal king set up by Nebuchadnezzar. The element 
of truth, however, in the latter statement, combined with the 
passage cited above from Ezekiel, suggests the possible explanation 
that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Eg3'^pt twice, about B.C. 581 and 
again about 570. 

At the former time, there was a sufficient motive, not only in 
the aid which Apries had given to Zedekiah, but in the shelter 
granted to the Jewish rebels who had murdered Gedaliah. The 
degree of chastisement then inflicted depends on the question whether 
the ])rophetic description of the devastation and shameful captivity 
of Thebes refers to this or to the later invasion, which appears to have 
been a serious war of conquest, and — though the Egyptian version 
of the story conceals the fact — a conquest actually efl'ected by the 
elevation of Amasis to the throne." Having regard to the same 
system of concealment, it is by no means impossible that Apries 
may have been put to death by Nebuchadnezzar.^*' In the long 
series of wars between Egypt and the powers of Mesopotamia — 
much as she suffered from the invasions of Esar-haddon and his son 
— this was the only occasion on whichshe was really conquered. 

§ 13, Thus the wars of Nebuchadnezzar came to an end, probably 
about his 35th year (b.c. 570), leaving him some nine years of 
peace so secure that it was not even disturbed by the loss of reason 

fifi See the repeated allusions in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and Psalm cxxxvii. 7. 

«' Megasthenes, quoted by Abydenus (Euseb. * Preep. Ev.* ix. .41 ; • Chron.' i. 
10, § 3) ; Moses Choren. * Hist. Armen.' ii. 7. These stories have a suspicious re- 
semblance to those about Sesostris, by -whom perhaps it was not thought fit that 
Nebuchadnezzar should be surpassed. ** * Antiq.' x. 9, § 7. 

^^ Berosus made a direct statement that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt (ap. 
Joseph. * c. Ap.* i. 19). 

70 For the story of this reYolation, as told by Herodotas, see obai^. xvii. ^ W. 


which clouded (according to the ix>pular reckoning) more than two- 
thirds of that period. During his thirty-four years of war his great 
works at Babylon not only went on, but his conquests furnishgd the 
means for their erection. As we have seen in the Assyrian records, 
the spoils of war supplied an abundance of costly materials ; and 
from his mode of dealing with the conquered nations, ** he obtained 
that enormous command of naked human strength which enabled 
him, without undue oppression of his own people, to carry out on 
the gmndest scale bis schemes for at once beautifying and benefitting 
his kingdom. From the time when he first took the field at the 
head of an army, he adopted the Assyrian system of forcibly re- 
moving almost the whole jiopulation of a conquered country and 
planting it in a distant part of his dominions. Crowds of captives, 
the produce of his various wars^Jews, Egyptians, Phcenicians, 
Syrians, Ammonites, Moabites — were settled in various parts of 
Mesoix>tamia,''^ more especially about Babylon. From these unfor- 
tunates forced labour was, as a matter of course, required;^ and it 
seems to have been chiefly, if not solely, by their exertions that the 
magnificent series of great works was accomplished, which formed 
the special glory of the Babylonian monarchy. 

" The chief works exi)ressly ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar by the 
ancient writers are the following. He built the great wall of 
Babylon, which, according to the lowest estimate, must have con- 
tained 500,000,000 cubic feet of solid masonry, and must have 
required three or four times that number of bricks.*"* He constructed 
a new and magnificent palace in the neighbourhood of the ancient 
residence of the kings. He made the celebrated Hanging Garden 
for the gratification of his wife Amyitis. He repaired and beautified 
the great Temple of Belus at Babylon.''^ He dag the huge reservoir 
near Sippara, said to have been 140 miles in circumference and 180 
feet deep, furnishing it with flood-gates, through which its waters 
could be drawn off for purposes of irrigation. He constructed a 
number of canals, among them the Nahr McUcha, or " Koyal River," 
a broad and deep channel, which connects the Euphrates with the 
Tigris.^* He built quays and breakwaters along the shores of the 
Persian Gulf, and he at the same time founded the city of Diiidotis, 
or Teredon, in the vicinity of that sea. 

" To these constructions may be added, on the authority either of 
Nebuchadnezzar's own inscriptions or of the existing remains, the 

^* Beros. Fr. 14 ; and the passages of SS. already cited. 

72 Polyhistor, Fr. 24. 

73 Babylonian bricks are about a foot square, and from 3 to 4 inches thick. 

''* *' All the inscribed bricks hitherto discovered in the JBabil mound bear Nebu- 
chadnezzar's legend.'* 

75 « xiiis is perhaps the Chehar of Ezekiel." This was a restoration : the canal 
had been dug ages before by Khammorabi. See chap. x. § 14. 


Birs-i-Nimrudy or great Temple of Nebo at Borsippa; a vast 
reservoir in Babylon itself, called the Yapur-Shapu ; an extensive 
embankment along the course of the Tigris near Baghdad ;''® and 
almost innumerable temples, walls, and other public buildings at 
Cutha, Sippara, Borsippa, Babylon, Chilmad, Bit-Digla, &c. The 
Indefatigable monarcli seems to have either rebuilt or at least 
repaired almost every city and temple throughout the entire 
country. There are said to be at least a hundred sites in the tract 
immediately about Babylon which give evidence, by inscribed 
bricks bearing his legend, of the marvellous activity and energy ot 
this king." ^ 

§ 14. It is not surprising that the praise which his inscriptions 
give to his deities, for the ability to execute such works, should have 
been mingled with his own glorification. But his pride was chastised 
by the Power before whom " Bel boweth down : Nebo stoopeth " : 
— a Power whom the " servant " of those gods, nay, their " son," as 
he ventures to style himself, had learned to reverence. For it is the 
point most noteworthy in his whole history, that this greatest type 
of the Oriental despot was himself taught — and became, unlike 
others, the conscious instrument of teaching the world — to give glory 
where only it is due. The Book of Daniel records the three great 
lessons, which form a series, coming home closer and closer to the king's 
own person. First, as we have seen, in the beginning of liis reign, 
his youthful dreams of ambition were turned to the only universal 
empire which the King of Kings will suffer to be set up over the 
earth J^ Next, at a time not specified, but when — as it would seem — 
his conquests were completed, he celebrated them by the dedication 
of the colossal golden image of his patron deity "^^ on the plain of 
Dura, and called on the representatives of " every people, nation, 
and language," whom he had brought together at Babylon, to adore 
the god by whose power they had been conquered : but the salva- 
tion of the three Hebrew youths from the flames which slew their 
persecutors drew from him a formal decree, confessing that ** no other 
god can deliver after this sort," and securing toleration for those who 
would not " serve nor worship any god except their own god." ^ Thus 
Bel was humbled ; but it needed a third lesson to humble the king 
himself : nor let it be forgotten that that lesson is recorded hy him- 
self in a form not the less authentic because it is preserved for us in 
the Bible, and not in a cuneiform inscription.®' 

76 « '£\^[g embankment is entirely composed of bricks which have never been 
disturbed, and which bear Nebuchadnezzar's name." 

'' Rawlinson, * Five Monarchies,' vol. iii. pp. 496-498. ^* Daniel ii. 

79 'Phis may be assumed from the worship demanded ; though it is not expressly 
stated. ^ Daniel iii. 

B^ Daniel iv. is a simple translation of the king's own proclamation, made when 
there was no doubt about the interpretation of cuneiform writing. Or rather, iii 


It was when '* he was at rest in his house, and flourishing in his 
palace " ^ — amidst the empire he had won and the capital he had 
finished*^ — that, as the whole narrative most clearly implies, the 
temptation gained upon him to give the glory of his greatness to 
himself. As at the heginning of his reign, the thought shaped 
itself into a dream, and the dreani was made a warning revelation. 
It is needless to explain the image (used on more than one other 
occasion) of the stately tree which gave a home to all the birds of 
heaven, shelter to the beasts of the earth, and food to the inhabitants 
of the world ; or of its fate as expounded by Dauiel. One year of 
grace was granted to him, *' to break off his sins by righteousness, 
and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, if it might be a 
lengthening of his tranquillity." ®* But the prosjicrity and magni- 
ficence around him were too captivating. " At the end of twelve 
months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The 
king spake and said. Is not this great Babylon, that I have built 
for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for 
the honour of my majesty ? ** While the word was in the king's 
mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, King Nebuchadnezzar, to 
thee it is spoken ; The kingdom is departed from thee : and they 
shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts 
of the field : they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven 
times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High 
ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He wilU 
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar : and 
he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body 
was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs grew like eagle's 
feathers, and his nails like bird's claws." ** 

In fact, Nebuchadnezzar fell a victim to that mental aberration 
which has often proved the penalty of despotism, but in the strange 
and degrading form to which physicians have given the name of 
Lycanthropy ;^ in which the patient, fancying himself a beast, 
rejects clothing and ordinary food, and even (as in this case) the 
shelter of a roof, disuses articulate speech, and sometimes persists in 
going on all fours. We may assume that Nebuchadnezzar was 
allowed the range of the private gardens of his palace, and that his 

has the force of an original; for we may he sure that, according to custom, and 
like the previous decree, it was published in versions intelligible to "all the 
peoples, nations, and languages " to whom it is addressed (verse 1). 
( «« Daniel iv. 4. «» See verses 20, 30. «* Dan. iv. 27. 

' ** Compare these phrases with those of the " Standard Inscription," in Notes 
and Illustrations (A). ®* Dan. iv. 29-33. 

•^ The word is not a modem coinage, but genuine Greek, Avicav^panrux, fr. 
XvKdv0p<avoi, the were wolf. See the Essay in Welcker's * Kleine Schriften ' (vol. ii. 
p. 157), entitled "Die Lycanthropie ein Aberglaube und einc Krankheit;" and 
Pusey's * Lectures on Daniel,' pp. 425-430. 


coDdition was concealed from his subjects ; to whom, however, he 
himself formally proclaimed it on his recovery, to teach the lesson 
he had learnt, " that the heavens do rule," ^ and to " praise and 
extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, 
and His ways judgment ; and those that walk in pride He is able to 
abased' ^^ 

It seems, from an inscription, that the government was carried on 
by the father of the king's son-in-law, who was probably the Bab~ 
Mag or chief of the order of Chaldasans.** Though of course only 
regent, he assumed the title of " King," like " Darius the Median " 
under Cyrus. We are not sure whether to infer undisturbed loyalty 
or disconcerted intrigues from the readiness with which Nebuchad- 
nezzar's " counsellors and his lords sought unto him ; and he was 
established in his Jcingdomy^ when " his reason returned to him," 
apparently as suddenly as he had lost it, and, with it, " for the glory 
of his kingdom, his honour and brightness returned unto him, and 
excellent majesty was added unto him." •* 

How long this greater brightness of his closing days lasted, 
. depends upon the meaning of the ** seven times " appointed for his 
humiliation, which are commonly interpreted, with Josephus, seven 
years; though some understand but seven months. The former 
supposition would leave but two or three years before this great 
king — to use the simple language of.Berosus — fell ill and departed 
this life,®^ after a reign of just 43 years (b.c. 661). 

§ 15. The real greatness of the Babylonian empire ended, as it 
had begun, with Nebuchadnezzar. The apocryphal prophecy, which 
a Greek writer ascribes to the dying monarch, had been indicated in 
his dream of the colossal image, and was soon plainly revealed 
in Daniel's counterpart vision of the four beasts ; ^ and the germs of 
its fulfilment were working within and without the empire. Within 
— the golden head of the colossus was borne up on feet of clay, and 
its fall was sure to be as sudden as its rise. It possessed no military 
strength like that with which the Assyrians had for so many centuries 
conquered and reconquered the warlike tribes around them. Its 
chief force consisted in the fiery cavalry of Irak-Araby and Lower 

88 Dan. iv. 25, 26. 89 ver. 37. 

*o His name is read Bel-sum-iskin or Bel-mu-ingar or Belldbarisrmik, His 
dignity is inferred from the fact that his son Neriglissar was a Rab-Mag (or, in 
Babylonian, Rahu-emga), •* Daniel iv. 36. 

*2 Berosus, Fr. 14. " This sober account of the Chaldeean historian" — 
observes Professor Bawlinson — " contrasts favourably with the marvellous narra- 
tive of Abydenus, who makes Nebuchadnezzar first prophosy the destruction of 
Babylon by the Medes and Persians, and then vanish away out of the sight of 
men (Euseb. * Praep. Ev.* ix. 41, p. 456, D)." The same historian calculates the 
age of Nebuchadnezzar as follows : — *< If we suppose him 15, when he was con- 
tracted to the daughter of Cyaxares (b.c. 625), he would have been 86 at his 
accession, and 79 at his death, in b.c. 561." ^ Daniel N\i. 


Chaldaea, well described by the prophet as " terrible and dreadful, 
swifter than leopards, and sharper than evening wolves " — a " bitter 
and hasty nation, to possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs " •* 
— an admirable instrument of rapid conquest, but not of lasting 
dominion. Without — the better-organised power of the Medes was 
not likely to remain content with the partition made between 
Cyaxares and Nabopolassar ; and that power was at this very 
moment passing into the stronger hands of the kindred Persians. 
The revolt of Cyrus against Astyages, within three years of the death 
of Nebuchadnezzar, was the prelude to his conquest of Western Asia. 

§ 16. Court intrigues and dynastic revolutions came to hasten oni 
the end. Among the three successors of Nebuchadnezzar, not only 
is there none to compare with him in personal distinction, but their 
brief history of only 21 years is full of obscurities and difficulties. 
The following is the most probable account. 

Of Evil-Merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, but one act is 
recorded. Soon after his accession he released Jehoiachin, the 
captive king of Judah, from his 37 years' imprisonment, and gave 
him a daily allowance, and a place at his own table above all the 
other kings that were in captivity at Babylon.'* After reigning, 
according to Berosus, lawlessly and profligately for two years (b.c. 
561-559),*'*» he fell the victim of a conspiracy headed by his brother- 
in-law, Neriglissar, the chief of the Chaldaean order.** 

§ 17. Nebiglissab *' styles himself Rah-Mag^ and son of "King 
Bel-sum-iskin," on the bricks of the " smaller palace " of Babylon, 
which he built on the western bank of the Euphrates.^ Diodorus 
describes this as a splendid edifice, having its walls covered with 
fine battle and hunting scenes, and adorned with numerous bronze 
statues, which were believed to represent Belus and Ninus and 
Semiramis with their officers.^ He also placed statues of solid 
silver in the several storeys of the temple of Belus. After a reign of 
less than four years (b.c. 559-556),^°*' he died quietly in his palace, 

»* Habakkuki. 6-10. 

®* 2 Kings XXV. 27-30; Jerem. lii. 31, 32. It seems to be implied that the 
other captive kings were released, and their royal rank recognized. The date is 
three days before the end of the 37th year of the captivity, Midsummer, b.c. 560. 

9sa rfjjjg ig ^^Q ^atg Qf Berosus and the Astronomical Canon ; Polyhistor gives 
him 12 years, and Joseph us 18. 

^ We naturally suspect that this was the accomplishment of a design first 
formed by his father when regent during Nebuchadnezzar's madness. 

®' Properly NergaUsar-uzury i.e. " Nergal, protect the king." We have the 
name in ** Nergal-sharezer, the Rab-Mag," who was one of the princes left by 
Nebuchadnezzar to finish the siege of Jerusalem (Jerem. xxxix. 3, 13). This was 
not improbably the usurper's grandfather. 

** An inscribed cylinder of his was also found among the ruins. (See the Brit. 
Mus. Series, Plate 67.) »» Diod. Sic. ii. 8, § 7. 

^^ As the 9 months of Laborosoarchod are not reckoned in the Canon, they 
bare to be allowed for in the time assigned to Neriglissar and Nabonadius. 

Chap. XV. NABONADIUS. 323 

according to the prevailing account, or, as others say, in a hattle which 
he fought vnth Cyrus for the possession of Media. 

His son, Laborosoabchod,^^ a mere boy, was in nine months put 
to death with tortures, on the plea that he gave signs of a vicious 
disposition, by a conspiracy of his near connections,^ probably the 
chiefs of the Chaldaean order, who conferred the crown on one of 
their own number. Thus ended the house of Nabojxjlassar, if, as 
we are expressly told, the new king was in no way related to his 

§ 18. Nabonadius,^ the last kii^ of Babylon (b.c. 555-538), and 
Nitocris (probably his queen) are celebrated by the Greek historians 
for the magnificence of works which really testify to the dangers 
that were now closing in upon the doomed kingdom. The chief of 
these was the construction or repair of the quays along the Euphrates 
within the city, with their walls and gates, the neglect of which by 
his rash son admitted the army of the Persians. The bricks of the 
retaining walls still bear his name.^^ At some distance to the north 
of Babylon he made certain cuttings, reservoirs, and sluices, to oppose 
the march of an invader. A curious testimony to the hopeless con- 
dition of his kingdom is given by an inscription of his last year, 
discovered by Mr. Loftus at Calneh, in which he confesses his n^lect 
of the worship of the gods, and undertakes the restoration of the 
temple of Sin (the Moon) to obtain their protection. 

§ 19. At the b^inning of his reign he relied on more sublunary 
means of resisting the progress of the Persian conqueror. Cyras 
was now engs^ed in his attack on the Lydian empire — the old rival 
of Media — which had grown to its height under Croesus ; and the 
latter sought to strengthen himself by alliances with the kings of 
Egypt and Babylon.^^ After his defeat at Pteria, Croesus summoned 
his allies to his aid, but we are not informed whether any Babylonian 

>*^ Under this strange Greek form M. Oppert sees the name of BeUabariarouk, 
which had been borne by the yoong king's grandfather. 

— Beros. Fr. 14. 

!•> U.poariK<arra oi ai/Uv* — Abyden. Fr. 9. Berosos calls hini ** a certain Baby- 
lonian."— Fr. 14. 

194 (( xhe real name is Nabtt^ndhid (i.e. Nebo, make protperotu) in Assyrian 
(Semitic), and Nabu-induk in Hamitic Babylonian. The former is the groondwork 
of Nabonnedus (Berosus), Nabonadius (Astr. Can.), and Labynetm (Herodk) ; the 
latter of Nabannid€>ehu9 (Abyden.), and NaboandeluB^ which should probably be 
Naboandechtu (Josephos)." — Bawlinson, vol. iii. p. 507, note. That he was of 
the Chaldaean order is shewn by the inscriptions in which he calls himself ** son of 
irabu-**-dirba (or Nabu-baUi-tirib) the Rab-Mag." M. Oppert stands alone in 
distinguishing JVia&ii-fu>Aid and Nabu-induk. Herodotus (L 188) applies the name 
of Labynetu* both to the last king of Babylon and to his father (whom he calls the 
son of Nitocris). But whether he regards the father as the Labynetns o( Chap. 
74 does not appear. 

-10^ Berosns (Fr. 14) expressly says that he built this wall of baked brick and 
asphalt. Herodotus ascribes it to Nitocris. >** Herod, iv 11. 


contingent reached him before his decisive overthrow in front of 

Even without this provocation, Cyrus would have taken the 
earliest convenient opportunity of assailing Babylon. In the six- 
teenth year of Nabonadius (b.c. 539) he marched from Ecbatana, 
and, having wintered on the banks of the Gyndes, crossed the Tigris, 
and overran all the country as far as Babylon, where Kabonadins 
had concentrated his defence. The whole Chaldaean army, which 
was posted in front of the city under the king in person, was routed 
in a single battle, and Nabonadius threw himself into the fortress of 
Borsippa. The defence of Babylon was left to his son Belshazzab, 
who is proved by the inscriptions of his father to have been asso- 
ciated in the kingdom,^** and whose youth was aided by the maturer 
counsels of the queen-mother.^*® 

§ 20. For some time the defence was so well conducted as to drive 
Cyrus almost to despair."^ As a last effort, he diverted the course 
of the Euphrates above the city, either into the reservoir of 
Nitocris "' or by a canal returning to the river lower down.^* Hi* 
opportunity soon came with that festivaP^ and its attendant licence, 
of which the vivid drama is so familiar to us in the Book of Daniel."* 
That night's revelry in the palace was imitated throughout the 
city.^^ The Persians, marching along the dried bed of the Euphrates, 
entered the neglected river gates : had these been closed, they would 
have been caught, as Herodotus says, " in a trap." "® Then followed 
the scene of hurry, confusion, fire, and massacre, which Jeremiah 
had foretold in one of those marvellous prophecies which only differ 

1^' Herod, i. 80. The date of the capture of Sardis is a point in dispute. 
The ordinary date is 546. See chap, xxiii. § 2. 

iM (i file proof of this association is contained in the cylinders of Nabonadius 
found at Mugheiry where the protection of the gods is asked for N'ahu-nahid and 
his son Bilshar-uzur {i.e. * Bel, protect the kidg *), who are coupled together in 
a way that implies the co-sovereignty of the latter. (Brit. lius. Series, PI. 68, 
No. 1.) The date of the association was at the latest b.c. 540, Nabonadius'a 
fifteenth year, since the third year of Belshazzar is mentioned in Daniel (yiii. 1)." 
Rawlinson (vol. iii. p. 51 5) ; who also suggests the following motive for the asso- 
ciation : — that the Nitocris of Herodotus (whose name is purely Egyptian, and is 
found among the contemporary Sai'te princesses) was the daughter of Nebuchad- 
nezzar by an Egyptian wife, and was married by Nabonadius, to aid in legitimating 
his usurpation : — in which case Belshazzar would be really the grandson of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, and his legitimate representative. Nebuchadnezzar is seven times 
called his father by Daniel, by the king himself, and by the queen (Dan. ▼. 2, 11, 
13, 18, 22). Nitocris may also have been previously the wife of Neriglissar. The 
appointment of Daniel, '&s *' third (not second) ruler in the kingdom" (ver. 7, 29), 
ftimishes a striking proof of the genuineness of the narrative from the absence of 
any mention of Nabonadius. 

109 Dan. V. 10-12. That such was her dignity seems clear from the previous 
mention of Belshazzar*s wives (ver. 2), and is consistent with the tone she 
• 'sumes. . "0 Herod, i. 190. "* Herod, i. 191. 

"2 Xen. * Cyrop.* vii. 5, § 10 ; Jerem. li. 39. >" Herod. I. e. ; Xen. I. c. § 15. 

IA< Daniel v. "» Herod., Xen., U. ce. "« Herod, i. 191. 

Chap. XV. 



from minute history by their vivid poetic colouring.^" Cai:^ht in 
the midst of dance and revelry,"® " the mighty men of Babylon 
forbore to fight: they became as women.""* In vain did "one 
post run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to 
show the king of Babylon that his city was taken at one end, and 
that the passas^es were stopped :" " her princes were made drunk, 
her wise men, her captains, her rulers, and her mighty men: they 
slept a perpetual sleep." " The broad walls of Babylon were utterly 
broken, and her high gates were burnt with fire; the people 
laboured in vain and the folk in the fire." ^ ** In that night was 
Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain " *" (b.c. 538). 

Nabonadius, having no further power or motive of resistance, 
surrendered on the approach of Cyrus, who admitted him not only 
to mercy but to his favour, and assigned him an abode in Car- 
mania.^^ Only the outer wall of Babylon was dismantled ; and the 
city, though fearfully injured by the storm, became the second 
capital of the Persian kings, and was destined by Alexander for his 
eastern seat of empire. The transference of its population to Seleuda, 
on the Tigris, by the Gretk kings of Syria, began that long decay 
which has fulfilled the most awfully sublime picture of desolation 
that was ever drawn even by an inspired pen,^^ and Ivas left 
" Babylon — the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' 
excellency — as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah:" — a 
type of the doom reserved for every scheme of universal empire, 

"' Jerem. li. ; comp. Herod., Xen., //. ee. 

"« Xopcveiv «ai er tinraBtCji<n tlyoL. — Herod. L 191. '** Jcr. IL 30. 
»» Jerem. U. 58. >» Dan. t. 31. 

'*^ Berosus, Fr. 1 4 : Abydenus says that he made him goremor of Carmania. 
1^ Isaiah xiii. 19-22 : comp. Jerem. 1. li.; and the descriptions <^ its present 
state by Layard, * Nin. and Bab.' p. 484 ; and Loftos, * Chaldea and Snaiaaa,' p. SO. 


In his "Standard Inscription **Neba- 
chadnezzar says of the works exe> 
cuted at Babylon by his father: — **The 
double enclosure, which Nabopolassar 
my father had made but not completed, 
I finished. Nabopolassar made its ditch. 
With two long embankments of brick 
and mortar he bound its bed. " He 
made the embankment of the Arakka, 
He lined the other side of the Euphrates 
with brick. He made a bridge orer 
the Euphrates, but did not finish its 
buttresses. From ♦ ♦ ♦ [some place] 
he made with bricks burnt as hard as 
stones, by the help of the great lord, 
Merodach, a way for the branch of the 
Shimat to the waters of the Tapur" 

ShqpUf the great reaenroir of Babylon, 
opposite to the gate of Nin.*' 

Then follows Nebuchadnessar's ac- 
count of the works added by himself 
to the city :— ** The Jmgur-Sel and the 
Nimuti-Bel — the great double wall of 
Babylon — I finished. With two long 
embankments of brick and mortar, I 
built the side of its ditch. I joined it 
on with that which my father had 
made. I strengthened the city. Across 
the rirer to the west I built the wall 
of Babylon with brick. The Tapmrm 
Skapm — the leserroir of Babylon — by 
the grace of Merodach I filled com- 
pletely tall of water. With brifik& 



Book II. 

bricks in buge masses like mountains, 
the Yapur-ShapUf from the gate of 
Muia as far as JVana, who is the pro- 
tectress of her votaries, by the grace 
of his godship {i.e. Merodach) I 
strengthened. With that which my 
father had made I joined it. I made 
tjie way of NanOy the protectress of her 
votaries. The great gates of the Ingur- 
Bel and the Nimiti-Bel — the reservoir 
of Babylon at the time of the flood 
inundated them. These gates I raised. 
Against the waters their foundations 
with brick and mortar I built. [Here 
follows a description of the gates with 
various architectural details, and an 
account of the decorations, hangings, 
&c.] For the delight of mankind, I 
filled the reservoir. Behold! besides 
the Ingw''Belt the impregnable fortifi- 
cation of Babylon, I constructed inside 
Babylon, on the eastern side of the 
river, a fortification such as no king 
had ever made before me, namely, a 
long rampart, 4000 amnuu square, as 
an extra defence. I excavated the 
ditch : with brick and mortar I bound 
its bed ; a long rampart at its head I 
strongly built. I adorned its gates. 
The folding-doors and pillars I plated 
with copper. Against presumptuous 
enemies, who were hostile to the men 
of Babylon, great waters, like the 
waters of the ocean, I made use of 
abundantly. Their depths were like 
the depths of the vast ocean. I did 
not allow the waters to overflow, but 
the fulness of their floods I caused to 
flow on, restraining them with a brick 
embankment. Thus I completely made 
strong the defences of Babylon. May 
it last for ever!" After a similar 
account of works at Borsippa, he pro- 
ceeds': — " In Babylon — the city which 
is the delight of my eyes, and which I 
have glorified— when the waters were 
in flood, they inundated the founda- 
tions of the great palace called Taprati- 
nisiy or * the Wonder of Mankind ; * 
(a palace) with many chambers and 
lofty towers ; the high place of Royalty ; 
in the land of Babylon, and in the 
middle of Babylon; stretching from 
the Ingur-Bel to the bed of the Shehily 
the eastern canal, and from the bank 
of the Sippara River to the water of the 
Tapur-Shapu ; which Nabopolassar my 
father built with brick and raised up ; 
when the reservoir of Babylon was 

full, the gates of this palace were 
flooded. I raised the mound of brick 
on which it was built, and made smooth 
its platform. I cut off the floods of 
the water, and the foundations (of the 
palace) I protected against the water 
with bricks and mortar ; and I finished 
it completely. Long beams I set up ' 
to support it : with pillars and beams 
plated with copper and strengthened 
with iron I built up its gates. Silver 
and gold, and precious stones whose 
names were almost unknown, ftc., I 
stored up inside, and placed there the 

treasure house of my kingdom 

In all my dominions I did not build a 
high place of power; the precious 
treasures of my kingdom I did not lay 
up. In Babylon, buildings for myself 
and the honour of my kingdom I did 
not lay out. In the worship of Mero- 
dach my lord, the joy of my heart, in 
Babylon, the city of his sovereignty 
and the seat of my empire, I did not 
sing his praises (?), and I did not 
furnish his altars (with victims), nor 
did I clear out the canals. . . .* 

" As a further defence in war, at 
the Ingur-Bel, the impregnable outer 
wall, the rampart of the Babylonians — 
with two strong lines of brick and 
mortar I made a strong fort, 400 
ammas square. Inside the Nimiti-Bel, 
the inner defence of the Babylonians, 
I constructed masonry of brick within 
them (the lines). In a happy month 
and on an auspicious day I laid its 
foundations in the earth. ... I com- 
pletely finished its top. In fifteen days 
I completed it, and made it the high 
place of my kingdom. [Here follows 
a description of the ornamentation of 
the palace.] A strong fort of brick 
and mortar in strength I constructed. 
Inside the brick fortification I made 
another great fortification of long 
stones, of the size of great mountains. 
Like Shedim I raised up its head. And 
this building I raised for a wonder; 
for the defence of the people I con- 
structed it." t 

• Several negative clatiaea follow, in which, as 
in th<«e quoted, the not neems to have the force 
either of exetpt (" I only did aU this at Bal'ylon '), 
or perbMS rather of an interrogatioii, " Did I 

uot, 4c. ? ' . . . t ,•! » 

t RawliiMon, 'Five Monarchies' Tol. iii.. Ap- 
pendix A- For an aoooaut of the topography 
and rulna of Babylou, see the * Student's Ancieut 
Geography,' pp. 212, ieq. 

lyiiiin Cj'linikt in Serpenti 



1. PrBfnt atate of a 

or ImDwIrdgr. Wb*t renulni 

1 to be done. RsalO gained Ibnt 

fir. i 1. Architect 

ure. Ila various remafni. }3 

1. Building mauruia. IJ«.r*li» 

of brick. PsrlWoi 

nomlul dumcUr. 

i t. DeacrlptlM of Um tmplo al Bordpp.<«M filr, Jf(«™d). 

Coloun and arrange 

menl of ili «ven itagM. Compartd ■11* IbE EwpUan pyiamWi, 

i «. Simpler uden 

1 fi^nna. 'nK BiOil H BtiiyUx. The ChaldKui loBai of Iwo 



; .rcbltorture. ModMofdMM 

vUhi. I ». The Tomba .« Lowai 

Dat/lonLa. Their 

Tan niiniben. Thru nwlei 

of burlaL Arched v.ulM. DUh- 

mver .lupcd tomtil. 

Bonbic bell-jaii. Drainage 

of Ihfl »-pnkhral monndi, f l«. 


il^niba. UieefrotUla. Bu. 

relief, and «al cylinder!. Seat or 

King Urakb. fl 11. 

i 12. I^lerBabjIoi, 


lectors- chleBf pall 

be an from Babylonia. } It Tin 

.l.leplaltom,aljr)m,«t«A Rat- 

/orTDOfJViM^d. i 

JidwaHioframmalearlh. Caaea 


andUmplea. Type differgnt fr 

mi the Babjlonlaa. Their Inlenial 

I (anna—- /onic " capiUl, Oiber 


Wooden col nmu. ) H. For 

to, dtla. and village.. ) 18. D« 

». Aasjrlan bcnlplnre. Inferiority of 

. Chwicleilillca 

§ 1. Thb forgoing chapters give an outline of the present atate of 
our knowledge of the history of AsByriSi and Babylonia. That mucli 
still remains to be discovered is a truth most evident to thoae who 
have already discovered most. It is less than half a century v.-o!^ v!\ 


the bricks and fragments gathered by Mr. Bich at Hillah (Babylon), 
Nimrvd^ and the mounds opposite Mosuly were exhibited in a case 
scarcely three feet squaxe ; and imaginary restorations of the temple of 
Belus, after the description of Herodotus, did duty in our picture Bibles 
for the Tower of Babel. It is not likely that another half century 
will throw our present knowledge into the shade in any similar degree ; 
but a vast work remains in adding to it and setting its results in a 
clearer li^ht. Mr. Layard himself observes that " those extensive 
and systematic excavations which are absolutely necessary before 
we can determine the exact period and nature of the numerous ruins 
existing in Assyria, and before we can deal with confidence with the 
materials at our <iisposal, have yet to be carried on. . . . The vast 
mounds of earth which cover the Assyrian ruins will have to be 
explored to their very foundations, and tunnels or trenches carried 
through them in every direction ; for it is impossible to conjecture 
what may yet remain beneath the edifices hitherto explored at 
Kimrud, Koyunjik, and elsewhere. . . . Until this is done, it cannot 
be said that we h^ve obtained the materials which are necessary to 
enable us to restore the history and to illustrate the arts and manners 
of the ancient Assyrians." Meanwhile, however, " although our 
knowledge is far from complete, yet the sculptures and inscriptions 
have enabled us to put together a part of the skeleton of Assyrian 
history, and to illustrate to a certain extent the manners, arts, 
sciences, and literature of the Assyrian people. . . . The discoveries 
in Assyria and Babylonia have enabled us to reach one of the re- 
motest sources of that mighty stream of human progress which has 
been developed, through Greece and Home, into our present civiliza- 
tion." ^ 

§ 2. The works of Building, whose ruins have yielded all the 
other discoveries, claim notice first. They consist of temples, palaces, 
and tombs, with some very scanty remains of private houses ; and a 
distinction is to be observed between the buildings which belong to 
difierent ages and different parts of the country. The temple^towers 
— which seem to be a primitive type of Cushite architecture — ^are 
characteristic of Babylonia. The most ancient examples are found 
in the mounds of the great plain of Chaldaea and Susiana, especially 
at Warka, Mugheir, Senkereh, and Abu'Shahrein, The latest are at 
Babylon, the mounds of which contain no monuments which are 
certainly older than the time of Nebuchadnezzar ; but, as we have 
seen from his own records, his temple-towers were restorations or 
imitations of much more ancient buildings. The palaces are the cha- 
racteristic buildings of the mounds at and about Nineveh ; but it 
still remains to be seen what older types are hidden among the ruins 

1 Lajaid, * Niiiuveb aud Bahyloii,' Introd. to the abridged edition of 1867. 




of the primeval city. The same remark applies to the upvlchTal 
huildings ; for, in most striking contrast with the vast cemeteries of 
the I^jptiai) citiea, not a single old Assyrian tomb has been dis- 
covered; while, in Chaldaca, on the other hand, the oldest cities are 
begirt with a broad belt of tomba — a Buburb of the dead. 

§ 3 The material common to nearly all the edifices not only io 
the alluvial plain, but in Asaj na — where it was not a case of neccs 
sity — la bnck, m its twL forms sun-dtied and hard burnt The 
bricks differed greatly from ours both in aizt and shape and they 
had also more variety among themselves. Ihey approached more 
nearly to the square and thin Roman pattern though they were 

BabrloDlu Brick. 

Bmaller and thicker. The oldest baked bricks of Chaldfea are about 
lit inches square and 2t inches thick; the later Babylonian are 
about 13 inches siguareand 3 inches thick; sothatwemigM roughly 
describe tbera all as about a foot square and from 2 to 3 inches thick. 
In the sun-dried bricks greaterdifference was allowed: their size varies 
from 16 to 6 inches square, and from 7 ta 2 inches in thickness. 
The baked bricks differ much ia colour and qvality. " The best 
quality of baked brick is of a yellowish tinge, and very much resembles 
our Stourbridge or fire-brick ; another kind, extremely hard, but 
brittle, isof a blackieh blue; a third, the coarsest of all, isslack-dried, 
andof a pafc red. The earliest baked bricksare of this last colour."' 
Besides the r^utar shapes, some were triangular, for the comers of 
walls; others wedge-shaped, for the construction of the arch,tlie use 
of which in Assyria we have presently to describe. 

■ BawUnHo, Tol L p >!{ L«ftiia,'ai*ldaBUidBnriau,' p. ISO. 


The sua-dricd l)ricks are rarely used alone ; aa the<r are in the 
Boioariyeh Tuinat, H'urAa(probably theanoicrit A'recA), They gener- 
ally form the interior maas, protected from the weather by a casing of 
burnt bricks, which is often as much as ten feet thick. In both cases 
the crude brick wall mas strenjjtliencd by the neiJs with which the 



CluiWssui Kecds (tmrn s ilib of SranacberiL). 

marshes of Babylonia abounded— not in mero strips, like our bonda 
of timber or hoojviTOii — but in the form of thick layers of reed- 

Chap. XVI. 



vtatting, steeped in bitnnien, nhich are kid In along the whole 
building at every four or five feet of its height, and project beyond 
the surface 'jf the wall. TbuH the teeAs served not only as a bond, 
bnt a prutection from theneather.aDd they ]n%scnt a curious appear- 
ance. "Tbey stripe the whole building with ccntinnous horizontal 
lines, having at a distance somewhat the effect of the couisea of dark 
marble in an Italian structure of the Byzantine period,"' Bence it 
is that the chief mound at Warka derives its name of Hoteariyth 


0.e, rtrd-mait).* Reeds are never fonnd in walls of burnt brick. 
Another method of obtaining strength was to nse the cmde and 
burnt bricks In alternate layers, each of sereral feet in thickness. 
The cement employid was either mud (oc clay), sometimes mixed 
with chopped straw, or the bitumen which is a characteristic po- 
docticin of Babylonia — the crude bricks being laid in the fimner uid 
the bnmt bricks in the latter. In the earliest bnildin^ the walls, 
especially when of crude brick, were stFengtbened by massive but- 
tresses of bumc brick. 

In a few cases, use has been made of the limestone and sandstone 
obtained from the htlls on the margin of the AraUan desert. Thus 
at Abu-SlioJ-rein — the most southern considerable monnd on the 
Euphrates, and the ntaiest to the Arabian hills— the platform of the 
temple, which is of beaten clay, is cased with a stone wall, in some 
places 20 ft«t thick ; and the stairs leading up to the first tUjKy are 
made of blocks ^ policed marble, fastened by copper-bolts above the < 
steps of san-dried bricks. This edifice also shows the peculiuitj of a pur 
of colucms, flanking the foot of the staircase, and of carious craistruc- 

« of Hr. LiAiK - CkUn W4 Si 


tioD. " A ciimiar Dx:cie!:8, ccmpooed €i suidstone flJabs and smftll 
cviiDdrical pieces c>f njirl-ie, disposed in alternate layers, was coated 
exuriTially with oiArse lime, mixed with stones and pebbles."* In 
Assyria, whertr xh*fre wa$ no such absence of stone as in the alluvial 
plain of ChaidaEa, lirlcks — ceneraliy sun-dried — were still preferred 
for the Ix^iy of the walls, which were faced externally with Uocks 
of stone and architectural decorations in the same material, and 
internally with the sculptured slabs of alabaster and gypsom, so 
frequently mentioned alreafiy, and with patterns in enamelled brick, 
plates of metal, and panels of choice woods ; while in other parts the 
bare walls were covered with costly hangings. 

§ 4. The oldest type c^ building is the temple-tower, or ziggurat^ 
which the Tovotr <^ Babd has made famiH^r to ns in name. 
Kumerous examples have been discovered in the momids which, 
in feurt, owe their peculiar appearance to the form of the edifioei 
It was a tower built up of storeys on a massive substructore or 
platform; and as the upper storeys have fallen about the lower, 
the latter have been preserved as the core of the conical heaps. 
The mounds of Mughtir^ Senkerth^ and Nifer^ are about 70 feet 
high, and the Bawariyeh mound at Warka reaches 100 feet ; the 
great mound of Babil, at Babylon, is 130 or 140 feet hiffh ; and 
the £unous Bin-i-Ximrud, the latest and probably the moat 
perfect example of these buildings, rises 153} feet above the plain, 
having lost (as is supposed) only three feet of its original height. 

The account of the last-named edifice by its builder, Nebuchad- 
nezzar, leaves no doubt that its stages were in some way connected 
with the several planets ; • and we know that the temples of the 
Chaldaean cities were sacred to the deities who impersonated the 
heavenly bodies. Add to these facts the exact " orientation " of the 
buildings, and the astronomical fame of the Chaldseau priests ; and 
there can remain little doubt that all these buildings were used 
as observatories as well as temples. Elevated on their stages above 
the mists of the plain below, the priest tracked through the cloud- 
less sky the mysterious movements of the heavenly bodies which 
he served : 

** Thdr wandering oouTBe, now high, now low, then bid. 
Progressive, retrograde, or standing stilL" 

§ 5. In the completest form — " the Temple of the Seven Lights 
of Heaven " at Borsippa (the Birs-i-Nimrud) — there was one stage 
for each of the chief heavenly bodies, arranged in the order of the 
so-called " Ptolemaic system," and distinguished by the appropriate 
colour of its facing of enamelled bricks or metal plates.' The 

» Rawlinson, voL i. p. 101. « See above, chap. x. $ 6. 

"f The tUver and gdd casing of the highest and middle storeys (which we mark as 
doubtful) have been lost ; but they may be inferred from Nebachadnezuur's inscriptioD. 


highest storey (silver •) was that of the Moon^ as at once the 
nearest to the earth, and one of the chief objects of old Chaldasan 
worship : then, counting downwards, came Mercury (blue) ; Venus 
(yellow), the Sun (gold ?), Mars (red), Jupiter (orange), and Saturn 
(black). The whole was raised a few feet above the plain on a 
platform of crude brick, a